- 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)
Wisconsin Police Deny Planting Evidence in Viral Video, Release Their Own Body Cam Footage
The footage police released shows that during a search, officers found a corner tear from a plastic bag inside a backseat passenger’s pocket. An officer then discarded it into the car after determining that it was empty.
Viral Video Appears To Show Officer Planting Evidence
The Caledonia Police Department in Wisconsin has responded to a viral cell phone video that appears to show an officer planting a small plastic baggie inside of a car during a traffic stop.
The now-viral footage was posted to Facebook by a man who goes by GlockBoy Savoo.
The user, who also filmed the clip, wrote in his post’s caption that the officer did this “just to get a reason to search the car” and said the cop didn’t know he was being recorded by the passenger.
Police Shut Down Accusations With Their Own Footage
After that video spread across social media, many were outraged, calling the Caledonia police dirty for seemingly planting evidence. All the outrage eventually prompted the department to announce an investigation Saturday.
Within hours, the department provided an update, claiming that officers didn’t actually plant any evidence or do anything illegal.
Police shared a lengthy summary of events, along with two body camera clips from the incident. That statement explained that the driver of the vehicle was pulled over for going 63 in a 45mph zone.
Two passengers in the backseat who were then spotted without seatbelts were asked to identify themselves and step out of the car. During a search of one passenger’s pockets, an officer pulled out “an empty corner tear” from a plastic baggie.
Police claim the corner tear did not contain any illegal substances, though they said this type of packaging is a common method for holding illegal drugs.
In one body cam clip, an officer can be heard briefly questioning the backseat passenger about the baggie. Then, that piece of plastic gets handed off to different officers who also determined it as empty before the officer in the original viral video discarded it into the back of the car.
The officer can also be seen explaining where the plastic came from to the passenger recording him.
“Aye, bro you just threw that in here!” the front seat passenger says, as heard in his version of the events.
“Yeah, cause it was in his pocket and I don’t want to hold onto it. It’s on their body cam that they took it off of him…I’m telling you where it came from, so. It’s an empty baggie at the moment too, so,” the officer replies.
The department went on to explain that while it would discourage officers from discarding items into a citizen’s car, this footage proves that evidence was not planted.
Authorities also noted that no arrests were made in this incident and the driver was the only one issued a citation for speeding. The statement added that since four officers were present at the scene, police have more than six hours of footage to review but they promised to release the footage in full in the near future.
See what others are saying: (Heavy)(CBS 58) (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Medical Groups, Local Leaders Push for Healthcare Workers and Public Employees To Get Vaccinated
The move comes as COVID cases have nearly quadrupled in the last month due to the rapid spread of the highly infectious delta variant.
Increased Calls for Mandatory Vaccinations in Certain Sectors
More than 50 of America’s largest medical groups representing millions of healthcare workers issued a statement Monday calling for employers of all health and long-term care providers to require mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations.
The groups, which included the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and 55 others, cited contagious new variants — including delta — and low vaccination rates.
“Vaccination is the primary way to put the pandemic behind us and avoid the return of stringent public health measures,” they wrote.
The call to action comes as new COVID cases have almost quadrupled during the month of July, jumping from just around 13,000 infections a day at the beginning of this month to more than 50,000.
While the vast majority of new infections and hospitalizations are among those who have not received the vaccines, many healthcare workers remain unvaccinated. According to data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, over 38% of nursing home staff were not fully vaccinated as of July 11.
An analysis by WebMD and Medscape Medical News found that around 25% of hospital workers who were in contact with patients had not been vaccinated by the end of May when vaccinations became widely available.
In addition to calls for medical professionals to get vaccinated, some local leaders have also begun to impose mandates for public employees as cases continue spiking.
Last month, San Francisco announced that it was requiring all city workers to get vaccinated. Also on Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that all municipal employees — including police officers and teachers — must either get the jab or agree to weekly testing by the time school starts in September.
Dr. Fauci Says U.S. Officials Are Considering Revising Mask Guidance for Vaccinated People
Numerous top U.S. health officials have applauded efforts by local leaders to mitigate further spread of the coronavirus, including the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who confirmed Sunday that federal officials are actively considering whether to revise federal masking guidelines to recommend that vaccinated Americans wear face coverings in public settings.
In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people who are vaccinated do not need to mask in public. Although that was a non-binding recommendation, many states and cities that had not already lifted restrictions on masking began to do so shortly after.
But now, local leaders in areas seeing big spikes have begun reimposing mask mandates — even for those who are vaccinated — including major counties like Los Angeles and St. Louis.
In his remarks Sunday, Fauci also emphasized that, despite claims from many conservatives, those efforts are in line with the federal recommendations, which leave space for local leaders to issue their own rules.
While Fauci and other top U.S. public health officials have encouraged local governments to take action, Republican lawmakers in several states are taking steps to limit the ability of local leaders and public health officials to take certain mitigation measures.
According to the Network for Public Health Law, at least 15 state legislatures have passed or are considering bills to limit the legal authority of public health agencies — and that does not even include unilateral action taken by governors.
Some of the leaders of states suffering the biggest spikes have banned local officials from imposing their own mask mandates, like Arkansas, which has the highest per capita cases in the country right now, as well as Florida, which currently ranks third.
Notably, some of the laws proposed or passed by Republicans could go beyond just preventing local officials from trying to mitigate surges in COVID cases and may have major implications for other public health crises.
For example, according to The Washington Post, a North Dakota law that bans mask mandates applies to other breakouts — even tuberculosis — while a new Montana law also bars the use of quarantine for people who have been exposed to an infectious disease but have not yet tested positive.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (The Guardian)
Couple Slammed Over Slavery-Themed Pre-Wedding Photoshoot
Many have expressed outrage at the duo for trying to romanticize slavery while others were left completely dumbfounded by the entire ordeal.
Photoshoot Goes Viral
A couple has come under fire after sharing images on Instagram from their slavery-themed pre-wedding photoshoot.
The photos show a Black man in shackles looking deeply into his white fiancé’s eyes before she works to releases him.
“1842. Days passed and everything changed, our love got stronger and stronger, he was no longer a slave, he was part of the family,” the post’s caption reads.
To indicate his transition from “slave” to family, a fourth image shows him wearing a long coat and top hat with well-shined shoes, as opposed to the white shirt, trousers, and straw hat he wore in the previous images.
Social Media Users React
It’s not immediately clear who these people are since the social media handle is redacted in the images circulating online.
Still, many have expressed outrage at the duo for trying to romanticize slavery while others were left just completely dumbfounded by this entire ordeal. Some also directed criticism at the photographer who agreed to the shoot, along with the hundreds of Instagram users who liked the original posts.
To see people romanticize this shit is infuriating – these people are too much. There is no such thing as slave consent and the sexual abuse of male slaves was real.— Nurse Elise 🌒 (@EliseRootedMind) July 21, 2021
There were three people there counting the photographer and not one thought should we? And over 1400 people hit the like button? And it’s part 2 like there’s more? I so want to be at the wedding when minister asks if anybody objects.— Randi Pro Democracy (@RandiKinman) July 21, 2021