Former Connecticut ‘Teacher of the Year’ Could Be Fired for Refusing Vaccine or Testing

By Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs
October 13, 2021 Updated: October 13, 2021

A teacher who had been awarded as “teacher of the year” could lose his job after refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or submit to coronavirus testing.

Kahseim Outlaw, a physical education teacher at Lyman High School in Wallingford, Connecticut, said during an interview on The Donlon Report he is on unpaid leave for not adhering to the school district’s policy.

“I’m a personal advocate, a big advocate, for personal health and the choices that we make with our medicine and with our medical procedures and therefore I believe it’s my own choice on how to maintain that and how to manage it,” Outlaw said during the interview.

He also noted that he tested positive for COVID-19 last year and believes he has natural immunity or antibodies, though he has not been tested.

Outlaw describes himself as an “Enthusiastic Physical Education & Health Instructor, Passionate Husband & Father, Spiritual Seeker, Lifelong Learner” on Twitter. The teacher’s fate has not yet been announced, though he has been excluded from teaching on campus.

Outlaw confirmed in a written response to The Epoch Times that he is “on unpaid leave until the board votes on whatever decision the superintendent proposes to them.

“It is my personal belief that how we manage our individual health, and the way in which we access medicine and medical procedures is a matter of personal choice. This is a belief that I’m willing to champion as long as I’m alive.”

Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, announced an executive order (pdf) in August that all state employees, childcare, and school staff would be required to receive a vaccine for the coronavirus or face testing on a weekly basis.

“Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is the most effective means of preventing infection and subsequent transmission,” Lamont said in a statement.

“Our dedicated state employees must work together to ensure a safe work environment for one another and can do so by getting vaccinated,” he added.

The governor also emphasized the requirement in order to keep public schools open.

“Ensuring all of our educators, including early childhood educators, and school staff are vaccinated will keep students in the classroom and keep childcare open for families. Getting vaccinated keeps yourself safe, keeps your community safe, and will help beat back the ongoing spread of this virus,” Lamont said.

The governor has also extended masking in an executive order in September to “provide the authority to require masks in schools, childcare facilities, and certain higher-risk settings, as well as providing municipal authority to require universal masking in certain settings.”

The legal group JD Supra commented on the Connecticut order that the rules indicate “if a covered worker refuses to receive weekly testing, that worker must not be allowed on school premises, and that ‘any further consequences for a covered worker’s refusal to receive weekly testing are to be determined by the school board, to the extent permissible by law and any collective bargaining agreements, etc.'”

The Connecticut teacher now awaits the ruling of the school board regarding his decision.

Outlaw did not immediately respond to a request for a statement on the situation.

Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs