Audio file to the May 22nd, 2021 radio show; begin at 4:06 to skip the commercials.
McCallie School has recently announced that all students, faculty, and staff will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccination for the 2021-2022 school year.
For anyone who declines, they will likely be required to continue wearing a mask and socially distance, while their vaccinated peers do not.
The Head of School, Lee Burns, told the students that getting vaccinated is safe and the socially responsible thing to do, and failure to do so puts the health of fellow students and teachers at risk.
Furthermore, to encourage compliance, he announced that if 500 students received at least one shot by 5/21, all students could opt out of any final exam they choose. And unfortunately, this incentive worked.
We dedicated our two-hour radio show to respond to the new school policy. Our intention was not to villainize this school, but as residents of Chattanooga and as parents ourselves, this hit too close to home.
At this time, there is no FDA-approved vaccine against COVID-19. The vaccines available have been granted emergency use authorization (EUA), and they are currently in clinical trials.
If you choose to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, you are choosing to participate in the largest clinical trials the world has ever seen. And if you are an adult, you should have the freedom to decide whether a vaccine is in your best interest. We respect that you have weighed the known risks and benefits of the vaccination, and the potential unknown risks, and ultimately chosen the path that is best for you. We believe in informed consent, and respect and support others’ right to make this choice.
However, a teenager is not capable of making this choice. And frankly, it is irresponsible to motivate teenagers to participate in a clinical trial for a virus that almost universally does not threaten their health.
We know that children and teenagers are at a statistically zero risk of complications from COVID-19. However, the fact is that there is no doctor, researcher, or school administrator who knows the long-term side effects of the vaccines, and that alone is enough to be cautious.
Schools are not responsible if a student is exposed to COVID-19. However, they are responsible, and should be held liable, if a student is injured as a result of their mandatory vaccination policy. McCallie leadership needs to change their school policy so that any student, faculty, or staff who prefers not to receive the vaccine should not be either (a) peer-pressured into doing so, or (b) forced to wear a mask and socially distance should they remain firm in their convictions.
Listen to the full episode to hear each of our arguments against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations in children.
WHITE PAPER: Experimental Vaccines for COVID-19
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