A private Miami-area school has taken a counterfactual approach to protecting student health during a pandemic, informing parents in a letter Monday that it will not employ any staff that has received a coronavirus vaccination and those that have gotten vaccinated will be asked to isolate from students, who range from prekindergarten to eighth grade. The thinking, school founder Leila Centner explained “with a very heavy heart” in the bulletin is that “reports have surfaced recently of non-vaccinated people being negatively impacted by interacting with people who have been vaccinated.” Centner and her husband, David Centner, opened the school in 2019, which now has nearly 300 students paying up to $30,000 a year in tuition and promotes itself as a “happiness school” that values “emotional intelligence” and mindfulness. Science, not so much.
Vaccinated adults “may be transmitting something from their bodies” that could be impacting the “reproductive systems, fertility, and normal growth and development in women and children,” Leila Centner informed the school community. “Even among our own population, we have at least three women with menstrual cycles impacted after having spent time with a vaccinated person.” As a result, the school concluded “it is in the best interests of the children to protect them from the unknown implications of being in close proximity for the entire day with a teacher who has very recently taken the COVID-19 injection.”
This is all, obviously, absurd, but Centner went on to explain that school staff are now going to be required to fill out a “confidential” health form stating their current vaccination status along with if and when they intend to get vaccinated. Those who have already been vaccinated will not be allowed to return to the classroom or be near the students. “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,” Centner wrote. Employees, of which there are some 50 teachers and 25 support staff, will be required to “acknowledge the School will take legal measures needed to protect the students if it is determined that I have not answered these questions accurately.”
The school’s latest vaccine missive is based on Donald Trump’s reading diet and there are indications on the school’s website that we should have expected it to be run like a Facebook anti-vaccine chatroom. The Centners were big Trump donors and Republican contributors and Leila Centner, the New York Times notes, is a frequent sharer of anti-vax misinformation on Facebook. The school itself states that it aims to help students in “overcoming biases and the pervasive effects of ‘group think.’ ” It also features prominently a vaccine policy it touts as “Medical Freedom from Mandated Vaccines.”
“We are proud that our happiness school does not mandate vaccines of any kind,” the school’s website reads. “Before we, as a Miami-based international school, mandate anything that could possibly harm your children, studies need to be conclusive as to whether vaccinations lead to various health disorders.” In lieu of vaccinations, the Miami Herald notes, “the school has a chiropractor on staff to give adjustments to students and staff and practices meditation among students with the use of crystals.”