Brophy College Prep's COVID-19 vaccine mandate sparks controversy; some are calling for mandate's reversal

Parents and alumni of one of Phoenix’s most well known private schools hope to change administrators minds when it comes to their vaccine mandate.

Brophy College Prep recently asked students to get vaccinated, or submit themselves to on-campus weekly COVID-19 testing. Parents and students were notified three weeks ago about this policy, and hundreds of people in the Brophy community are calling it an overreach. Some parents are even talking about pulling their kids out of school, or taking legal action against the mandate.

Parent speaks out

Elaine Leonard has received the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as her whole family.

"We are all vaccinated primarily because my boys are half Navajo Indian, and we wanted to be able to visit family on the Navajo Reservation," said Leonard.

Leonard's son, Holden Wilson is a junior at Brophy. He already meets their vaccine mandate requirements, but Leonard still signed on to a letter that asks school administrators to change their minds

"We are more concerned about the medical freedoms, where parents aren’t able to make the decision about whether or not their child is vaccinated in order to attend Brophy without unreasonable requirements," said Leonard.

Arizona's vaccine mandate ban affects some, but not all schools

In Arizona, the government has banned vaccine mandates for public schools, but not private. Governor Doug Ducey was asked about the ban.

"Brophy is a Catholic school, and it's an excellent school, and religious schools have protections, as they should, against government actions, so do many private schools. Everyone knows where I stand on this issue. I respect others with differing opinions, and they make decision under their authority.

In response to the ongoing vaccine mandate controversy, officials with Brophy have issued a statement that reads, in part:

The mandate takes effect on Sept. 13.

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