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 Children's Health Defense

February 18, 2021 (Children’s Health Defense) — The New York State Education Department issued a letter Feb. 16 informing all public schools in the state that parental consent to COVID-19 tests for their children is not required for in-person instruction, or for participation in any school activities, including extracurricular activities.

The letter, which applies only to public and charter schools, follows in the wake of a lawsuit challenging the closing of New York City Schools and the mandatory testing for students.

The lawsuit was filed Dec.16, 2020, by eight New York City parents and Children’s Health Defense (CHD) against the New York City Department of Education and Mayor Bill de Blasio. The parents are represented by Attorneys James Mermigis, Ray L. Flores II, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., CHD chairman and chief legal counsel, and Mary Holland, CHD president and general counsel.

The Feb. 16 letter from Kathleen R. Cataldo, assistant commissioner, Office of Student Support Services said:

“The Department has received reports from the field that some school districts are requiring parents’ consent on behalf of their children, to COVID-19 testing as a condition of activities including in-person learning and extracurricular activities. The Department hereby clarifies that parent/guardian consent for COVID 19 resting of students may not be a condition of in-person learning or other school activities.”

Since Nov. 19, 2020, children in grades 6-12 have been completely excluded from all in-school education. NYC has provided no specific date by which these students will be back in school.

Since early December, K-5 and special needs students have been able to attend “blended learning,” usually just 1-2 days per week, but only if they submit to in-school polymerase chain reaction (PCR) genetic testing for COVID-19. If parents refused, the education department relegated their kids to remote learning for at least the next 10 months.

NYC schools were open to all students for blended learning September through mid-November, even though all families had the option of remote learning. Mayor de Blasio shut schools down again because of a rise in the city-wide PCR positivity rate.

As plaintiffs’ experts declared in their lawsuit, PCR testing does not diagnose COVID infection, even though NYC has represented to parents that it does. PCR testing generates many false positive results, leading to disruptive and expensive isolation and quarantine, the plaintiffs allege.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that in-school testing without voluntary consent is “unethical and illegal.” Coercing parents to sign consent forms on threat of exclusion is not voluntary, the plaintiffs allege, and the education department is acting in flagrant disregard of federal public health guidance.

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People of goodwill can disagree about the safety, efficacy and religious implications of a new vaccine for the coronavirus.

But, everyone should agree on this point:

No government can force anyone who has reached legal adulthood to be vaccinated for the coronavirus. Equally, no government can vaccinate minors for the coronavirus against the will of their parents or guardians.

Please SIGN this urgent petition which urges policymakers at every level of government to reject calls for mandatory coronavirus vaccination.

Fear of a disease - which we know very little about, relative to other similar diseases - must not lead to knee-jerk reactions regarding public health, nor can it justify supporting the hidden agenda of governmental as well as non-governmental bodies that have apparent conflicts of interest in plans to restrict personal freedoms. 

The so-called "public health experts" have gotten it wrong many times during the current crisis. We should not, therefore, allow their opinions to rush decision-makers into policies regarding vaccination.

And, while some people, like Bill Gates, may have a lot of money, his opinion and that of his NGO (the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) - namely, that life will not return to normal till people are widely vaccinated - should not be permitted to influence policy decisions on a coronavirus vaccination program.

Finally, we must also not allow the rush by pharmaceutical companies to produce a new coronavirus vaccine to, itself, become an imperative for vaccination.

Unwitting citizens must not be used as guinea pigs for New World Order ideologues, or Big Pharma, in pursuit of a vaccine (and, profits) which may not even protect against future mutated strains of the coronavirus.

And it goes without saying that the production of vaccines using aborted babies for cell replication is a total non-starter, as the technique is gravely immoral.

However, if after sufficient study of the issue, a person who has reached the age of majority wishes to be vaccinated with a morally produced vaccine, along with his children, that is his business.

But we cannot and will not permit the government to make that decision for us.

Thank you for SIGNING and SHARING this petition, urging policymakers at all levels of government to reject mandatory coronavirus vaccination.


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** While LifeSite opposes immorally-produced vaccines using aborted fetal cell lines, we do not have a position on any particular coronavirus vaccines produced without such moral problems. We realize many have general concerns about vaccines, but also recognize that millions of lives have been saved due to vaccines.

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As the lawsuit outlined, remote learning disproportionately harms those who can’t afford access to modern technology, including high-speed internet, computers, tablets, printers, scanners and more. Further, most students in NYC are Black and Hispanic, and many parents are wary to submit their kids to medical procedures without their oversight. They wonder what really happens with their children’s test results and DNA samples

The United Federations of Teachers (UFT), the New York City Teachers Union issued a statement that the state’s letter contradicts a plan agreed to by the schools and the union. “We will fight to make sure these protocols stay in place” according to a statement on the UFT Facebook page.

NY Teachers for Choice responded to UFT with an open letter to UFT President Michael Mulgrew outlining why NY Teachers for Choice supports the new guidance. The letter ended with:

“Virtually every other school district in New York, and across the country, does not force COVID testing on staff or students because doing so is illegal. I understand and respect that you are trying to do what you believe is best and safest for your membership. However, the UFT should not stand on the side of forcing an illegal practice to take place under its watch. Please accept the new guidance from NYSED and expand upon it to ensure teachers and staff rights are respected as well.”

The lawsuit by CHD and New York parents will continue until the school closure issue is resolved.

© February 17, 2021 Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.

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