- A Florida private school named Centner Academy recently sent letters to faculty and parents saying it will no longer allow teachers vaccinated against COVID-19 to be near students.
- The school cited misinformation when explaining the decision by falsely claiming that “tens of thousands of women all over the world” recently reported “adverse reproductive issues” after coming close to vaccinated people.
- Teachers who choose to get vaccinated over the summer will not be allowed to return until clinical trials on the vaccine are completed and will only be rehired if their position remains available.
- Many are concerned that the letter could make parents believe the claims are based on science when they actually have no basis.
School Spreads Misinformation
Many businesses and schools across the country have encouraged their staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but a private school in Florida is doing the exact opposite.
That school is called the Centner Academy, which has two campuses in Miami.
“We cannot allow recently vaccinated people to be near our students until more information is known,” the school’s co-founder, Leila Centner, wrote in a letter to facility last week.
As far as why, she allegedly claimed that “reports have surfaced recently of non-vaccinated people being negatively impacted by interacting with people who have been vaccinated.”
“Even among our own population, we have at least three women with menstrual cycles impacted after having spent time with a vaccinated person,” she added.
Those claims, of course, are false. Centner appears to be repeating this completely untrue idea that vaccinated people can somehow pass the vaccine to others and thereby affect their reproductive systems.
In her letter, she gave employees three options:
- They can Inform the school if they have already been vaccinated, so they could be kept physically distanced from students.
- They can let the school know if they get the vaccine before the end of the school year for that same reason.
- Finally, they can wait until the school year is over to get vaccinated.
Teachers who get the vaccine over the summer, however, will not be allowed to return until clinical trials on the vaccine are completed. They’ll also only be brought back “if a position is still available at that time,” which effectively makes their employment contingent on avoiding the vaccine.
The school even required all employees to disclose their vaccination information by completing a confidential form, and it threatened legal action against anyone who is found to have lied on the paperwork.
Parents Learn of New Policy
A notice about this change was also sent to parents Monday, which read in part,“It is our policy, to the extent possible, not to employ anyone who has taken the experimental COVID-19 injection until further information is known.”
The notice even says, “Tens of thousands of women all over the world have recently been reporting adverse reproductive issues from being in close proximity with those who have received any one of the COVID-19 injections.”
But that email cites no scientific evidence for this. It only links to unofficial websites that claim to track deaths related to the vaccine.
Now, many experts have expressed concerns because they believe this letter could make parents think the claims are based on science when they are actually baseless. That could potentially cause a ripple effect if the misinformation spreads elsewhere.
Still, the news might not be surprising coming from a school with founders who have been known to also spread misinformation about mask-wearing and the virus in general.
According to The Miami Herald, a former teacher at Centner Academy said in September that there was very little social distancing and wearing of masks, if any, among staff members while a mandatory mask order was in place in Miami-Dade County. The teacher added that Leila Centner circulated misinformation about coronavirus and masks in group chats among teachers.
The New York Times also noted that Leila and her husband, who she co-founded the school with, have heavily donated to the Republican Party and Trump’s re-election campaign. They’ve even had guest speakers at their school like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — a prominent anti-vaccine figure.
On their school website, they claim to support “medical freedom from mandated vaccines.”
One Centner Academy parent told NBC Miami that if she could pull her child out of the school now she would, but she has already paid $30,000 for tuition.
“They’re very pro ‘my body, my choice,’ and yet, it’s the complete opposite of that is what she’s actually telling these teachers. It’s your body, but it’s her choice.”
As the emails began to make nationwide headlines, the United Teachers of Dade released a statement.
“As shamefully seen by the actions of the illegally run and uncertified Centner Academy, these schools not only teach misinformation and peddle propaganda, they punish teachers who try to protect themselves and their families,” it said. “We are horrified by the unsafe conditions and labor violations that colleagues at schools such as this one have to endure due to lack of union representation and contract rights.”
Some experts have also argued that their policy could face legal challenges.
Still, the school told reporters, “We are not 100 percent sure the Covid injections are safe and there are too many unknown variables for us to feel comfortable at this current time.”
See what others are saying: (The Miami Herald) (The New York Times) (NBC Miami)
Derek Chauvin and 3 Others Ex-Officers Indicted on Civil Rights Charges Over George Floyd’s Death
- The Justice Department filed federal criminal charges Friday against Derek Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers after a grand jury indicted them for violating the civil rights of George Floyd.
- The indictment charges Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao for violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force. All three, as well as Thomas Lane, were also charged with failing to provide medical care to Floyd.
- Chauvin was additionally hit with two counts in a separate indictment, which claims he violated the civil rights of a 14-year-old boy who he allegedly held by the neck and repeatedly beat with a flashlight during a 2017 arrest.
- Chauvin was already convicted last month of murder and manslaughter over Floyd’s death, which Kueng, Lane, and Thao were previously charged for allegedly aiding and abetting.
Former Minneapolis Officers Hit With Federal Charges
A federal grand jury indicted Derek Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers for violating George Floyd’s civil rights during the arrest that lead to his death last summer, the Justice Department announced Friday.
Chauvin, specifically, was charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by a police officer. Ex-officers J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao were indicted for willfully failing to intervene in Chauvin’s unreasonable use of force.
All three men, as well as former officer Thomas Lane, face charges for failing to provide medical care to Floyd, “thereby acting with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of harm to Floyd,” according to the indictment.
In a second, separate indictment, Chauvin was hit with two counts of civil rights violations related to the arrest of a 14-year-old boy in September 2017. During that incident, Chauvin allegedly held the boy by the neck and hit him with a flashlight repeatedly.
The announcement, which follows a months-long investigation by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, comes just over two weeks after Chauvin was found guilty of three state charges of murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
He is currently awaiting his June 25 sentencing in a maximum-security prison.
Kueng, Lane, and Thao all face state charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Kueng and Lane were the first officers to responded to a call from a convenience store employee who claimed that Floyd used a counterfeit $20 bill. Body camera footage showed Floyd sitting in the car and Lane drawing his gun as the officers ordered him out and handcuffed him.
Floyd can be heard pleading with the officers not to shoot him.
Shortly after, Chauvin and Thao arrived, and the footage shows Chauvin joining the other officers in their attempt to put Floyd into the back of a police car. In the struggle, the officers forced Floyd to the ground, with Chauvin kneeling on his neck while Kueng and Lane held his back and legs.
Meanwhile, in cellphone footage taken at the scene, Thao can be seen ordering bystanders to stay away, and later preventing a Minneapolis firefighter from giving Floyd medical aid.
Their trial is set to begin in late August, and all three are free on bond. The new federal charges, however, will likely be more difficult to prove.
According to legal experts, prosecutors will have to show beyond reasonable doubt that the officers knew that they were depriving Floyd of his constitutional rights but continued to do so anyway.
The high legal standard is also hard to establish, as officers can easily claim they acted out of fear or even poor judgment.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (The Associated Press)
Caitlyn Jenner Says Her Friends Are Fleeing California Because of the Homeless Population
- California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner sparked outrage after an interview with Sean Hannity on Wednesday that was filmed from her Malibu airplane hangar.
- “My friends are leaving California,” she said. “My hangar, the guy right across, he was packing up his hangar and I said, ‘Where are you going?’ And he says, ‘I’m moving to Sedona, Arizona. I can’t take it anymore. I can’t walk down the streets and see the homeless.’”
- Many criticized Jenner for sounding out of touch and unsympathetic to real issues in California and suggested that she prioritize helping the homeless population rather than incredibly wealthy state residents.
Caitlyn Jenner’s Remarks
California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner sparked outrage on Wednesday after suggesting that wealthy people are fleeing the state because of its homeless population.
Jenner sat down for an interview in her Malibu airplane hangar with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. Jenner is one of the handful of Republicans aiming to unseat current Governor Gavin Newsom in a recall election in the fall. While polls show that most Californians do not support recalling Newsom, the conservative-led movement to do so gained enough signatures to land on the ballot.
“My friends are leaving California,” Jenner claimed during the interview. “My hangar, the guy right across, he was packing up his hangar and I said, ‘where are you going?’ And he says, ‘I’m moving to Sedona, Arizona, I can’t take it anymore. I can’t walk down the streets and see the homeless.’”
“I don’t want to leave,” she continued. “Either I stay and fight, or I get out of here.”
Jenner’s Remarks Prompt Backlash
Her remarks were criticized online by people who thought Jenner sounded unsympathetic and out of touch to the real issues in the state. Many found it hypocritical that Jenner has slammed Newsom for being elite but was so concerned for wealthy people who don’t like having to see unhoused residents on the street.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Ca.) called Jenner out on Twitter for seemingly fighting for a small percentage of Californians.
“Unlike you, Dems are focused on the 99% of people who don’t own planes or hangars,” he wrote. “And you know what’s going to help reduce homelessness? The #AmericanRescuePlan, which your party opposed.”
Others suggested she prioritize directly addressing the homeless situation.
“If you don’t like the homeless situation, instead of hiding in your PRIVATE PLANE HANGAR, your campaign should be about helping them,” actress Merrin Dungey said. “They don’t like their situation either. Your lifelong privilege is showing. It’s not a good color.”
Jenner, an Olympic gold medalist and reality star, is one of the most prominent transgender Americans. Because homelessness is such a common issue within the trans community, some were frustrated she was not using her campaign to fix the situation, and rather used it to complain about how it impacted her wealthy friends.
See what others are saying: (The Hill) (Politico) (Washington Post)
Derek Chauvin Seeks New Trial In George Floyd Murder Case
- A lawyer for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted of murdering George Floyd, filed a motion Tuesday for a new trial.
- Among other complaints about Chauvin’s conviction, the attorney cited “prosecutorial and jury misconduct; errors of law at trial; and a verdict that is contrary to law.”
- He also claimed the court “abused its discretion” by not granting a change of venue or sequestering the jury for the duration of the trial, arguing that publicity before and during it threatened its fairness.
- John Stiles, deputy chief of staff for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, told CNN, “The court has already rejected many of these arguments and the State will vigorously oppose them.”
Derek Chauvin’s Attorney Files Motion for New Trial
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is officially asking for a new trial, hoping to overturn his conviction for the murder of George Floyd.
His attorney, Eric Nelson, filed court paperwork Tuesday laying out a number of errors he believes were made during Chauvin’s legal proceedings that violated his constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial. Nelson cited alleged issues, including, “prosecutorial and jury misconduct; errors of law at trial; and a verdict that is contrary to law.”
The filing did not cite any specific examples of jury misconduct, but Nelson also argued that the court “abused its discretion” by not granting a change of venue or sequestering the jury for the duration of the trial.
The court proceedings took place in the same city where Floyd was killed and where protesters drew national attention by calling for justice in his name. As a result, Nelson claimed that publicity before and during the trial threatened its fairness. He also argued that a defense expert witness was intimidated after he testified, but before the jury deliberated.
His filing asks for a hearing to impeach the guilty verdict, in part, on the grounds that the 12 jurors “felt threatened or intimidated, felt race-based pressure during the proceedings, and/or failed to adhere to instructions during deliberations.”
It’s unclear exactly what will come of this request, but John Stiles, deputy chief of staff for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, told CNN, “The court has already rejected many of these arguments and the State will vigorously oppose them.”
For instance, a judge previously denied Chauvin’s request to move the trial in March, saying, “I don’t think there’s any place in the state of Minnesota that has not been subjected to extreme amounts of publicity on this case.”