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Washington State Teachers Bully Their Students: “I Will Wear My Mask, I Will Wear My Mask”
Educators in deep-blue Washington State, when not teaching white supremacy as an ethnic studies project (see below), are bullying students into wearing face coverings — despite the indoor mask mandates being lifted in Washington’s K-12 schools, effective March 14.
A concerned parent of a middle schooler in the coastal community of Whidbey Island, located 30 miles north of Seattle, posted to the social media app Telegram an e-mail from her son’s teacher explaining that even though the mask mandate is no longer in effect, masks are still “strongly recommended.”
In an e-mail to sixth graders, the activist teacher at South Whidbey High School wrote:
I will continue to wear my mask, even though I am fully vaccinated and boosted. I will wear my mask to protect students and staff from any germs I may be carrying. I will wear my mask to protect myself from any germs being carried by others…. I want to support any student or staff who also wants to wear their masks.
The parent of the child who received the e-mail said the teacher was attempting to lay a “guilt trip” on her son and on other students not wearing masks. Another parent pointed out that his child came home after his first mask-free day at school to report that “50 percent of the school population wore masks at school today. Why?”
Why? Because harmful policies, not COVID, have pressed upon people a tremendous and irrational fear of not wearing masks.
No Masks, for Now
On March 10, the Washington State Department of Health published updated COVID requirements and guidance for schools and child-care settings, just a day after outdoor masking mandates for schools were lifted, though the rule went away for everyone else on February 18, per the orders of Democrat Governor Jay Inslee.
Contrary to the teacher’s assertions, nowhere in the guidance are masks “strongly recommended.” However, the 19-page document does contain a section on mental health that cautions about anxiety-producing “changes in school/provider routines, such as the discontinuation of masking,” noting these feelings among students and staff are “normal and expected.”
Does evidence support such terror over taking off a mask? And how many teachers have actually died from catching COVID from their students?
A February 3 CNN article attempted to answer the latter, quoting the American Federation of Teachers, among the nation’s largest teacher’s unions, saying that an “estimated 530 of their members died of the virus last year.” The magazine Education Week raised that count to “707 retired and active teachers, coaches, custodians and other staff members [who] have died of Covid-19.”
However, as CNN noted, “that number doesn’t account for whether an employee was exposed to the virus at school or in some other setting.” The article further stated, “there’s also no evidence to suggest more teachers are dying than people in other professions. In fact, recent studies have concluded that in-person classes aren’t significantly contributing to coronavirus spread — an in-depth look at two US schools released last week found that there ‘was no evidence of student-to-teacher or teacher-to-student transmission’ when proper precautions were taken.”
Despite the lack of scientific evidence that “proper precautions” such as masks and lockdowns minimize the spread of COVID-19, many teachers are encouraging continued daily mask-wearing with a strange degree of near religious devotion.
The dread of removing one’s masks is perhaps most intensely amplified in California, where the Los Angeles Unified School District still refuses to give up its mask mandate, even though the majority of the other 80 schools in Los Angeles County have made masking optional for students and staff.
According to the Los Angeles Times, LA Unified is bound by contract with the teacher’s union to grant the right to bargain over masking rules through the end of the school year. Discussions appear to be ongoing, as LA Unified Superintendent Alberto Carvalho released this statement on Twitter last Friday: “Our team is working with labor partners over the weekend to reach agreements that change indoor masking in schools from required to strongly recommended. Maintaining practices that are protective, responsive and in the best interest of our students and school communities remains my top priority.”
Teachers choosing to wear a mask, despite a plethora of data showing that masks are unhealthy, are further perpetuating the irrational argument for masks; a narrative now normalized by people paralyzed by fear.
Sadly, for so many millions of children, including special-needs children, masking has become a permanent part of their everyday lives. A special education teacher at a Florida school told The New American that now, because many of her students have been trained to wear masks, it would be impossible to get them to take off their masks. “It’s just what they know now; it’s part of their routines,” she said.
Follow Science (or the Lack Thereof)
Yet reports are slowly emerging from mainstream outlets, such as the New York Times, eerily silent on the issues until now, revealing the devastating impacts of daily masking on child learning and development.
Dr. Mark McDonald, a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist with a private practice in Los Angeles, informed his patients recently that masking would no longer be allowed in his office.
“Effectively immediately, all forms of child abuse will no longer be tolerated in my office. This includes masking children,” wrote McDonald in an e-mail. He claimed “referrals to speech and language therapists have increased between 25 and 300 percent,” and that “younger children have suffered a 24 percent cognitive decline, along with a 22 IQ-point loss among infants.”
Urging his adult patients to overcome their “fear addiction” and to remove their face masks, he said he is glad to support those who wish “to move forward toward health and freedom over fear.”
In contrast, Washington State officials are feeding the fear instead of assuaging anxieties. The state’s latest guidance for mitigating COVID in schools clearly warns that the easing of restrictions may be temporary.
For instance, masks will be “temporarily” required for students who return to school after testing positive for COVID and isolating for five days, unless they have supplied a negative COVID test. Masks will also be mandatory for students involved in group activities in the classroom, such as P.E. or music, following “any reports of outbreaks.”
Ironically, the freedom of choice is emphasized in the Washington report, stressing the need to respect others’ choices, particularly those who choose to wear a mask owing to the belief that a face covering protects family members believed to be “high-risk.” Interestingly, the report gives no consideration to those who choose not to wear a mask.
Moreover, staff working with children with disabilities are “encouraged to wear personal protective gear” in situations that require “close contact when providing care.” The message seems to encourage teachers to stay as far away as possible from students who need personal attention. Once again, the cure appears to be worse than the disease.
Teachers in Washington State are still required to be vaccinated to maintain employment. That policy is not yet in place for children though the Seattle School Board is discussing a vaccine requirement for the 2022-23 school year.
Hopefully, children, parents, and teachers will become more comfortable not donning a mask, and engage with the information about the wealth of harm in wearing a face covering. That is, until forced masking is reinstated. As Governor Inslee has already declared, “we’ve learned how effective they [masks] are at keeping one another safe. As we transition to this next phase, we will continue to move forward together carefully and cautiously.”
Annalisa Pesek is a writer, editor, and librarian. She joins The New American after spending nearly a decade in New York publishing.
Published with Permission of thenewamerican.com