A Miami private school banned teachers who had received the coronavirus vaccine, from interfacing with students in April. The school also made a shocking announcement last week to parents. They said that if you give your child a coronavirus vaccine, they will have to stay at home for the next 30 days.
WSVN first reported Centner Academy's email to us. It repeated misleading and false claims about vaccined people passing on "harmful effects" and having a "potential effect" on staff and students unvaccinated.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have debunked the claims that coronavirus vaccines can "shed or let go of any of their components" by skin or air contact. Because they don't contain any live viruses, the components of coronavirus vaccines can't be passed to other people.
Related video: 5 ways you can spot misinformation and stop its spread
David Centner, one co-founder of the school, reiterated the debunked claims in a statement sent to The Washington Post. He said that the policy was a precautionary measure based on "numerous anecdotal examples that have been circulated"
Centner stated that while the school does not believe unexplained phenomena are based in fact, they prefer to be cautious when making decisions that will impact the health and well-being of the school community.
The Food and Drug Administration has shown that coronavirus vaccines work well and are safe. However, the White House and public-health experts have faced major hurdles in convincing people to get them. According to The Post's vaccination tracker, nearly 219 million Americans have received at minimum one vaccine dose. This is approximately 66 percent of eligible population.
In July, President Joe Biden criticized social media companies and accused them of "killing people", by failing to control misinformation about vaccines on their platforms. Facebook published data in August that revealed that the most popular piece on Facebook from January to March was a link that linked to an article questioning the vaccine. On Wednesday, 14 attorneys general from 14 states wrote to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, to inquire if special treatment was provided to vaccine disseminators on the platform.
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Schools have been making unfounded claims about vaccines and masks. Students under 12 are at greater risk of contracting the disease since they are not eligible for the vaccines.
Sometimes, tensions between parents and school districts can escalate to the point of violence. A mask was ripped off the face of a teacher by a parent at an Austin school in August. Police arrested a Fort Lauderdale high school student who assaulted another student a week later after she confronted him over trying to bring his daughter on campus without a mask. He was charged with child abuse, but not for great bodily harm.
Centner Academy is located in Miami's ritzy Design District. Tuition ranges from $15,000 to almost $30,000 per annum. Anti-vaccine parents have found refuge at Centner Academy. It does not require immunizations to enroll, and cites a parent's freedom of choice. They also falsely claim that vaccinations could cause harm to children.
In an email sent to parents last week, parents expressed similar views regarding the coronavirus vaccination. WSVN reported that school leadership called the shots "experimental" and advised parents to delay getting their child vaccinated for several months.
Centner Academy leaders asked that you wait until the summer to reduce the risk of transmission or shedding on others.
Centner Academy has a history in spreading false information about vaccines and penalizing those who opt to have them. Centner Academy employees were informed in April that they must inform Leila Centner and David Centner (the married co-founders) if they have received vaccines. School employees who had been vaccinated were told that they would not be permitted to contact students until more information about the vaccines is available. The school leaders advised those who wanted the vaccine that they should wait until the summer for the shot.
A week later, a science and math teacher instructed students not to hug their parents for more that five seconds. This was in reference to the falsehoods that the school had shared via email regarding vaccine components "shedding" onto other people. Some parents threatened to take their children out from the school because of these comments.
According to the Times, Leila Centner also shared anti-vaccine information in a meeting with parents, staff, and in a WhatsApp group that was open to community members. Leila Centner and David Centner invited Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an outspoken antivaccine advocate, to speak at school in January.
According to the Times, co-founders discouraged teachers wearing masks. Teachers were told to wear masks by state health department officials during routine dining inspections. Parents were also provided with exemption forms from the school for masks.
David Centner stated that the school's policies were a prudent precautionary measure in a statement to The Post.
He stated that "Our top priorities have always included our students' well being and their sense of safety in our educational environment."
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