Pro-choice activists stage a protest demonstration outside the Palo Seco Secondary School, on Wednesday 2 February 2022. (Image: RISHI RAGOONATH)
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Pro-choice activists currently are outside the Palo Seco Secondary School.

They are accusing school officials of pressuring their children to take the Covid-19 vaccine.

Police are now at the scene.

The group was accompanied by the First Wave Movement and its leader Umar Abdulah and social activist Edward Moodie, who have staged similar protests outside the Pleasantville Senior Comprehensive, Barrackpore West Secondary and at Ramco Industries in the past.

Speaking to Guardian Media, Moodie said they were disappointed in the actions of the principal, former president of the T&T Unified Teachers Association Devanand Sinanan, who issued a letter on January 22nd, asking for students to be vaccinated.

“We are not against the vaccine. We are not anti-vaxxers. We are pro-choice. We think people should be allowed to make a choice and it is wrong to pressure parents and students into taking a vaccine if they are uncomfortable with taking it,” Moodie declared.

He said it was untrue to say the vaccine reduces transmission and makes the virus less contagious.

“The principal sent out this letter and it is against the Ministry’s protocols. The Ministry never instructed that information to be sent out. Instead, the Ministry has invited children to follow all public guidelines,” Moodie said.

“Children are feeling pressured. The parents are in fear of coming out today and they are afraid of being victimized,” he added.

In the letter dated January 5th, the principal indicated that children are scheduled to be out to physical classes on a rotational basis.

“The school is finalizing the logistics of such physical resumption. As such, the school has been enforcing all relevant health and safety protocols as defined by the Ministry of Health. You are strongly urged to ensure that your child/ward is fully vaccinated to minimize their risk of transmitting the virus,” Sinanan wrote.

School officials have denied implementing mandatory vaccination policies at the school.


This is a developing story and Guardian Media will bring you more as this story unfolds.