A private school in Miami is telling its teachers and employees not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and warns that getting the shots could jeopardize their jobs. The Centner Academy, which has two campuses in the area and charges up to $30,000 annual tuition, let parents know of its policy in an email sent on Monday that was loaded with misinformation and debunked theories about the COVID vaccines, according to a report on CBS Miami (above).
The school told the faculty that they should wait until the end of the school year to get the vaccine, and if they did get it, they would not be able to return until clinical trials for the vaccines were complete. The school also indicated that it would not hold jobs for those teachers who decided to get vaccinated.
This begs the question, what kind of education do they offer? It can't be any science education?https://t.co/oK7PlUgGla
— Remaining Vigilant for Democracy (@WasserL) April 27, 2021
Among the misleading and downright inaccurate “details” cited in the statement by school co-founder Leila Centner, was this jaw-dropping claim:
“…Tens of thousands of women all over the world have recently been reporting adverse reproductive issues from being in close proximity with those who have received any one of the COVID-19 inactions, e.g. irregular menses, bleeding, miscarriages, post menopausal hemorrhaging, and amenorrhea (complete loss of menstruation). No one knows exactly what may be causing these irregularities, but it appears that those who have received the injections may be transmitting something from their bodies to those with whom they come in contact.”
In the same email, Centner admitted the information cited as reasons for the school’s police was “new and yet to be researched.” She asked school staff who had already taken the vaccine to let the school know and added they should maintain physical distance from students. She also required all employees to disclose the information by completing a confidential form.
The harm that could come from a school like Centner taking an anti-vaxx stance like this could be far-reaching and could undermine efforts to convince people to get vaccinated. Dr. Aileen Marty, a physician and infectious disease specialist with Florida International University’s Wertheim College of Medicine, told the Miami Herald she read the school’s email and found it “very sad.”
“Spreading misinformation about COVID vaccines without citing scientific evidence or even quoting a medical expert can diminish much of the messaging behind the measures that public health officials have taken to try and control the spread of the virus.”
The Centner Academy, which calls its itself the first “happiness school in the U.S.” and offers meditation as part of its curriculum, currently has about 300 enrolled students (Pre-K through eighth grade) on its two campuses in the Design District and Edgewater communities of Miami. The school’s founders, Leila Centner and her husband David have been embroiled in controversy before, starting with the opening of the school in 2018, which happened despite the protests of community residents.
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) April 26, 2021
A former teacher at the school told the Herald last year that the Centner Academy practiced little social distancing and lax enforcement of mask-wearing. The teacher also said Leila Centner spread COVID misinformation to staff members during group conversations.
The Centners are major donors to the GOP, having donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past to the RNC and other republican committees in Florida. They courted further controversy last year when Leila Centner hosted a fundraiser for conservative candidate Steve Bovo, who was running for Miami-Dade mayor. Several parents objected to the school being used for political purposes, but Centner refused to budge and said she was using the building she owns after hours, as she sees fit.