A fifth-grade teacher at Centner Academy, a private school in Miami, told 10-year-old students not to hug their parents for more than five seconds if their parents were vaccinated.
The teacher also advised students not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine if it is available to them. The school’s co-founder, Leila Centner, told teachers that if they were vaccinated against COVID-19, their academy would be “wrong” for them, citing debunked claims that vaccinated people negatively affect unvaccinated people.
One of the students emailed her mother from her school laptop telling her to stay away from her mother.
‘Hola Mami. [The teacher] tell us to stay away from you and not hug you for more than 5 seconds. She also says we shouldn’t get the Covid vaccine, ”the student wrote in the CBS Miami email.
Her mother, who spoke anonymously to CBS Miami, was appalled when she received the news from her daughter.
“I have no words to describe how my stomach fell when I saw your email,” said the mother.
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Centner Academy in South Florida teaches children from preschool through eighth grade. The school cited misinformation about vaccines on its website and had a prominent anti-vaccine activist at the school speak earlier this year.
The school’s co-founder, Leila Centner (right, with her husband and co-founder David) emailed the teachers informing them that if they were vaccinated against COVID-19, they would be fired
Centner recently gained national attention for the academy’s strong anti-vaccine stance.
The academy’s teachers received an email last week from the administration warning them not to take the COVID-19 vaccine. This would make them unwelcome in the classroom, according to the email.
“I have to draw a line in the sand today and tell you if you want to [vaccinated] This is not going to be the school for you, ”school co-founder Leila Centner said in a video from CBS Miami.
The internal email was also sent by Leila Centner, according to a report in the New York Times. It cited misinformation about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and mentioned exposed vaccine conspiracies that may cause menstrual problems in women.
“Recently, reports have surfaced that unvaccinated people are negatively affected by interacting with vaccinated people,” Centner wrote in the letter.
The letter alleges that unvaccinated women who interacted with a vaccinated person later reported problems with their menstrual cycles.
The claim, which was circulated on social media, has been debunked by fact checkers. Experts agree that there is no way a vaccine could spread from a vaccinated person to an unvaccinated person.
Florida’s Covid cases have remained high since spring break, a trend some experts attribute to the lack of a mask mandate and overt encouragement from college students to travel to the state
There is also no data showing that the COVID-19 vaccine affects menstrual cycles, although researchers at the University of Illinois are investigating whether there might be a link after thousands of women claimed their periods changed after the shot.
Centner’s letter set out three scenarios for future teachers.
If they have already been vaccinated, they will be physically kept away from the students. If they would like to receive the vaccine before the end of the school year they should tell the school and they will be dissociated from the students upon receipt.
Teachers can also wait until after the school year to get vaccinated if they want to stay in the classroom, Centner said.
The school staff had to fill out forms last week stating their vaccination status.
Teachers who have either received or intend to receive the vaccine will not be allowed to return to the classroom until clinical trials with the vaccine have been completed, although the letter indicated that the school may be able to hire someone to fill the position of a vaccinated teacher Replace them permanently.
The school’s website has a page titled “Our Vaccination Policy,” which links vaccines to attention deficit disorder, asthma, diabetes, autism, and other learning disabilities. There is no data linking regularly scheduled vaccines or the COVID-19 vaccine to any of the listed conditions.
The site states that there are no vaccine requirements for students to attend school.
The academy also invited Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a noted anti-vaccine activist, to speak at the school in January.
It is legal for employers to require employees to have a certain vaccination status in order to continue to be employed.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in December that the vaccine requirements did not violate the Disabled Americans Act, though federal government legal experts also agree the requirements did not violate the privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) . .
The Centner Academy runs from preschool through eighth grade. Annual tuition fees range from $ 15,000 to $ 30,000, depending on the grade level.
The Academy deleted its Facebook page after the New York Times report.
Vaccines against COVID-19 are not yet available for children under the age of 16. Pfizer has filed with the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use approval to distribute the vaccine to children ages 12-15.