Parent group tells Hart board masks are ‘child abuse’


On the same day a letter was sent to them arguing that masks and vaccines lead to “child abuse” and discrimination, William S. Hart Union High School District governing board members heard from a group of parents Wednesday night criticizing the district’s adherence to public health orders from the state. 

Many of the parents in attendance echoed the same sentiments as a letter sent to the district before Wednesday’s board meeting, objecting to the district’s adherence to public health policies, such as masks and the future implementation of mandatory vaccinations — although the district has yet to codify its own policy regarding the mandatory vaccine order.  

The letter — copies of which were sent by multiple parents, according to sources familiar with the situation — alleges that the district’s mask and health policy adherence leads to “discrimination, harassment and child abuse.”  

The letter threatens a possible civil action against the district should administrators be unable to provide “reliable scientific data that has been properly vetted” supporting the health policies.  

The letter reads that if the district cannot do so, then it should immediately cease the implementation of its health policies that are “unlawfully discriminatory.”  

The Centers for Disease Control, as well as state, local and academic health institutions, have said that vaccines and masks are two of the leading ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well as its harmful effects.  

“Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic,” the CDC website reads. It later adds: “When teachers, staff, and students consistently and correctly wear a mask, they protect others as well as themselves.” 

Hart district officials have consistently said, throughout the pandemic, that they had to continue to abide by county and state public health guidelines.  

In front of the gallery of other community members, the parents supported their belief — as it is outlined in the letter — that the masks and vaccines interfere in a student’s “right to participate fully in the educational process free from discrimination and harassment.”  

The parents at the in-person meeting also argued that the masks were harmful to students.  

“Wearing face masks mechanically restricts breathing, gas concentrations are significantly altered when breathing occurs through face masks,” said parent Santa Rivera, quoting a study published by Med Hypotheses in November 2020. “Toxic … components are repeatedly rebreathed back into the body, causing self-contamination.”  

The study Rivera quoted from was  by Baruch Vainshelboim, and has since been retracted by the medical journal, citing that it “misquotes and selectively cites published papers.” Med Hypotheses also stated Vainshelboim claimed he was currently affiliated with Stanford University, but Stanford confirmed that Vainshelboim ended his connection with the school in 2016 and that his one-year term as a visiting scholar were for matters unrelated to the paper he had published.

The letter said that the masks contributed to “psychological torture” and “humiliation,” and said that the mandate “sanctions bullying by school staff and other students for whom masks interfere with breathing to such an extent that it interferes to effectively access the district’s educational experience.”  

It also says that the mandates harm “students who oppose mask/facial coverings” because they are “restraint techniques that obstruct a pupil’s respiratory airway.” 

“Please take a stand with us and fight for children,” said parent Yasemin Tekelj, “It’s your guys’ job, you guys wanted this job. I’ll be here in two weeks, I’ll be here again for the next meeting, and all meetings until I see a change.”   

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