Dear Board of Education Members:
I write to express opposition to your discriminatory policy to quarantine children based on vaccination status and contact tracing. The policy is ill-advised, against current CDC scientific standards and should be rescinded immediately. The policy, on its face, discriminates against unvaccinated children. The policy permits vaccinated, asymptomatic, confirmed COVID positive children to stay in school unmasked and carry on normally. But unvaccinated, asymptomatic “close contacts” are “presumed” positive and excluded from school outright for 5 days, and are required to wear a mask when returning to class for another week. You have no legal, medical or scientific basis to enact this policy.
There is no Public Health Emergency—it ended at midnight March 7, 2022. There is no Law, Regulation, Executive Order, Mandate or Directive requiring quarantine based on vaccination status to be implemented.
Your Policy conflicts with CDC policy in several ways:
The policy is inconsistent with the CDC’s stance on vaccine effectiveness. The CDC director recently acknowledged that the vaccines cannot prevent transmission. That is to say, COVID19 is NOT preventable through the use of vaccines. This is supported by a recent NY study of 5-11 year olds that found limited evidence on the effectiveness of the vaccine for children.
CDC no longer recommends universal case investigation and contact tracing in school settings. Rather, it recommends it only for specific settings like LTC facilities and homeless shelters. d. CDC does not recommend vaccinated confirmed C+ students to stay in class.
Under your policy, if a child cannot be vaccinated because of religious beliefs, they are segregated from school and friends on a mere presumption of illness. That conflicts with Art. I, Sec. 5 of the NJ Constitution which prohibits segregation on religious grounds. Your policy takes asymptomatic children, segregates them and forces them to submit to tests in order to attend school, for which, they have a constitutional right to attend in the absence of a Public Health Emergency or legal requirement.
There is no way to enforce your policy without violating the privacy of the student’s confidential personal health information. Masked children are announcing to the school that they are unvaccinated. This is embarrassing for the child and against the consent of the parent.
Your policy also conflicts with current Equity and Inclusion policies. You are required to
provide equal and bias-free access for all students to all school facilities, courses, programs, activities, and services, regardless of race, creed, religion, and numerous other factors;
recognize and value the diversity of persons … and promote the acceptance, respect, celebration and appreciation of all … persons … regardless of race, creed, … age, … religion, disability, or socioeconomic status;
provide a learning environment that is free from all forms of prejudice and discrimination.
Your policy is inconsistent with other towns in New Jersey which do not have these policies: Summit, Garwood, Scotch Plains, Clark Edison, among others. This current policy is YOUR choice and not the standard of New Jersey public schools.
The sole purpose of your currently policy is to bully and shame healthy children into vaccination by taking away school, masking and embarrassing them in front of their peers. Discrimination in ANY form is illegal and morally reprehensible. The imposition of complicated and draconian COVID measures at this stage are untimely and completely out of step with reality. The BOE’s constitutional and statutory mandate is to provide a free and EQUAL education for all children in the district. Discrimination in ANY form cannot be accepted or tolerated.
At this time, I encourage the BOE to implement a Healthy Child Stay Policy, like other districts in New Jersey and stop the discrimination against unvaccinated children. There is no scientific basis for your policy, you are not medical providers, nor physicians who are educated enough understand that your policy is unnecessary and harmful to children. The health officer is not in charge of the schools and has no legal authority to ask you to impose a facially discriminatory policy that conflicts with anti-discrimination policy and side steps CDC recommendations.
It is up to you to make the right decision, like the other districts in New Jersey and stop creating policies that hurt the children in our schools.