Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

7 Aug 2021

Parents vs COVID cult at Durango School District 9R meeting

Posted by Adam Howell


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Parents, teachers and medical professionals voiced sharply divided opinions about what COVID-19 risk management strategies Durango School District 9-R should take for students in the 2021-2022 school year at a meeting this week.

By far the most contentious policies were those of face masking and COVID vaccinations. Should they be required?

After the new superintendent Dr. Karen Cheser introduced herself, the first speaker was a teacher from 9R.

Parent teacher who requests medical freedom

Tory Queen, a teacher and parent, questioned the efficacy of masks at preventing COVID-19 infections.

“If the teachers are worried about getting it from their students, then they got their vaccines to protect them. Also it sends mixed signals if we actually trust masks to work. If we trust them, then why are we quarantining whole buses and classrooms due to a possible exposure? It is almost like saying, ‘actually they don’t really work, so now you have been exposed and now you need to be tested.’ If that is how we feel, then why are we wearing them?” Queen asked.

Caring mother of 9-R students: honor our medical freedoms

Parents like Angela Fosco value medical freedom for their children.

Angela Fosco, parent.

Angela Fosco, a parent of two District 9-R students, asked for the district to honor their medical freedoms.

“This is not about vaxers versus anti vaxers. This is about all people having medical privacy and equality, which should not be violated by schools, employers or government agencies. A needle in every arm seems to be the global directive. Without a risk benefit analysis to the individual, or a cost benefit analysis to society. We have yet to receive consistent factual information on the efficacy and long term effects of this experimental vaccine. These are the first messenger rNA vaccines to be in production and tested in large-scale human trials. As a parent I would never subject my child to medical testing. Healthy children and young people have mostly mild or no symptoms when infected with COVID-19 and there is zero risk of death. So vaccinating all children is unnecessary and unsubstantiated by science with no basis in public health. Transmission of COVID-19 from children to adults is minimal. If an adult or child with co-morbidities is coming in contact with healthy children and choose to mask and vaccinate, they have the right to do so for their protection. This is really about immunity. Natural immunity from COVID-19 is broad, robust and more effective than the vaccine immunity, especially in combating the variants. Colorado law has always allowed for vaccine exemptions, a system in place that works and honors the parents right to make an informed decision for their child without coercion, manipulation, or threat of segregation, discrimination or social shaming. Parents, physicians and elected officials must stand up for our kids before we find more damage has been done at the hands of politicized science. I hope the members of the board and Superintendent Cheser make the right decision to stop medical discrimination and honor our medical freedoms. Leave the kids alone, they’ve been through enough,” said Fosco.


Parent pissed about mask injury

Jasmine Bishop, a single mom with three children at 9-R spoke about her daughter’s mask injury, as well as the lack of communication about class cancellation.

“I have had my daughter have a rash on her face since they were forced to wear a mask,” said Bishop. “It doesn’t go away. Who is liable for this? I did not force her to wear this. You guys did. I have to go and spend $200 dollars on something that should not be there? I shouldn’t have to. I’m a single mom. I work too much. My money needs to go towards feeding these children, and not a dermatologist to tell me ‘there isn’t anything we can do because she has to go wear the mask again.’ Last year my son was sent home because I did not know his cohort was quarantined. The school did not call me to tell me my son showed up at school, and as I was driving to work, he’s walking home. What if my child got hit, kidnapped, anything? Who is liable for that? Am I just supposed to be like, ‘my kid is just walking home?’ You guys are talking about safety; you did not put my child’s safety at all. You think an email works? No. He showed up. You had every single chance to call me and say, ‘your kid is going back home.’ Nothing.”


Parents standing up against mask mandates, forced vaccination, medical apartheid

parents stand up for the children

Seth Cohen at the District 9-R School meeting.

Seth Cohen was one of many parents to speak out against forced masking, vaccinations and medical apartheid.

“I’m really here today just to stand up for my children,” said Cohen. “I promised them I would do something for them. I’m here today to stand up against mask mandates and forced vaccination, medical apartheid. I represent not only myself and my children, but many parents and friends that I know that are afraid to stand up due to their jobs or their families. If we don’t get together right now and stop this nonsense, we are looking at a very scary road. This is more than just health. This is our rights as people and family to make our own decisions for our children. There is a vaccine available if you want to take it. You can wear one, two or ten masks if you want to. Let us make our own choices.”

“You mentioned that you’re listening to these organizations above, the powers that be. Are these the same people that said it was ok to go to a restaurant, and wear a mask when you walk in, and take it off when you sit down. What happened to critical thinking? What is going on here? All I see with the news and the media is constant segregation and dividing us. Why are they doing that? Follow the money. Wake up and stand up for the children,” said Cohen.

Required masking for the unvaccinated violates medical privacy

Parents who are interested in running for a seat on the District 9-R school board will have backing if they believe in medical freedom

Britny Hanson is offering campaign assistance to candidates who are interested in defending the medical freedoms of students.

Parents Cam Formby and Britny Hanson spoke individually. They both said that a mask requirement for only unvaccinated students would require students to expose their medical information to the public since everyone would then know that they had not been inoculated. This would be illegal, they said.

Hanson called on anyone who cared about medical freedom and is interested in running for a seat on the school board to contact her for campaign assistance.


Mercy Medical Center employee lies about ICU being full

Serra Meyer said that she’s been a nurse at Mercy Medical Center for 15 years. She spoke in opposition to parents or kids deciding what medical devices the kids have to wear on their faces.

Sarah Meyer, a nurse at Mercy Regional Medical Center, gives false information about the ICU being full of COVID-19 patients at a Durango School District 9-R meeting on 8/3/2021.

“I can tell you that we’ve been seeing COVID cases increase. Our ICU remains full. TCU’s been stressed. And that I don’t think we’ve seen yet what the delta variant is capable of. And that that should be a concern to everyone. Our young kids, those under 12 don’t even have the ability to be vaccinated; we don’t know when that’s going to be available. And I think that for everybody’s health it would be best to just stay in masks. Especially for our young children. That would help us prevent having the need for cohorts, which will help kids socially. Last year the cohorts were really hard on them. I appreciate all that 9R is doing. I think that they’re working really hard in trying to listen to health officials, who I think should be the ultimate ones to make these decisions, not the parents,” Meyer said.

Meyers’ claim that the ICU at Mercy Medical Center remains full was inaccurate, according to Lindsay Radford, the Director of External and Field Communications for Centura Health.

“Our ICU isn’t full, we’re not even close to that,” Radford said three days after the school board meeting. “We’re not maxed out at all right now.”

Mercy has a surge plan that allows the ICU to expand and accommodate additional COVID-19 cases, Radford said.

Furthermore, CDC data for La Plata County shows only 9.86% of ICU beds were used for COVID-19 patients between July 30th and August 5th, 2021. This, even though the level of community transmission for the same time period was listed as high by the CDC.

screenshot from CDC website

screenshot from CDC website

Patrick Armijo

To further exacerbate Meyer’s misinformation, Durango Herald Reporter Patrick Armijo printed this falsehood without fact checking the claim beforehand. This inaccurate reporting should come as no surprise, however, if you look at the recent history of The Durango Herald acting as a megaphone and cheerleader for local “health” officials.

Parents/Centura Health employees in attendance

Ann Theine, a nurse at Mercy Regional Medical Center, has an incoming freshman at Durango High School.

“Science, not politics should drive the policy,” said Theine. “Science tells us that ventilation, ongoing deep cleaning in schools and open windows matter. There’s also peer data on masking matters. I support the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations that everyone older than 2 wear a mask regardless of vaccination status, and that is something that can be revised as time goes on and we can see the data unfold.”

“In short, I’m here to advocate for in-person learning, no cohorts, vaccinations, universal masking for now, with subsequent recommendations based on local covid transmission and vaccinations rates, and well-ventilated and clean schools,” said Theine.

Kelly MacLaurin, an infectious disease physicians assistant for Centura Centers for Occupational Medicine and mother of 2 favors mask wearing for kids.

Valerie McKinnis, MD, a physician at Mercy Medical Center and mother of students in the 9R school system, advocated for mask wearing. We have seen people dying sick, scared and alone. Masking doesn’t hurt anybody, she said.

Kelly Miller, a local pediatrician for Pediatric Partners of the Southwest, advocated for mask wearing at 9R schools. This, because kids who get COVID-19 can bring it home and transmit it to adults, she said.


More parents with alternative approach to COVID

Parents like Eric Edgar, a neurologist, said that we are putting public health above the education of our young people, despite the fact that the risks have been known to be low since the beginning.

“And particularly now, if they’re vaccinated, it’s a microscopic risk, really,” said Edgar. “On the other hand, every single young person is at risk of all the complications of a poor education and a poor social experience. Some of these things are tangible, and some are not.”

“It’s 9-R’s job to educate, not to care about public health, and that needs to be remembered,” said Edgar. “Despite the initial fears, there has not been an apocalypse. There has not been a failure of the health care system. And the vast majority of the people in our community are not going to die before their time. Remember that the point is to educate our kids. The risk to them is very low from a health perspective, but extremely high from an education and social perspective.”

Julie Korb implied that she would not be sending her daughter to school in the next semester if masks were not required of all students. This, due to her daughter having a vulnerable health condition, said Korb.

John Partenope, an alternative health care practitioner and MD reminded people at the meeting that they have immune systems.

“Noone is talking about building the immune system. Viruses come and go. Variants come and go. Flus mutate. Flu vaccine has been around forever. I say some of the assets, resources should be going to better food choices, exercise, drinking water, not sodas. For me the best defense is an immune system. In medical school, rhino virus, before it became the common cold, RSV and pera influenza. Is corona that much more stronger, are these variants that much more stronger, or are we as citizens and American people weaker? I go with the second. If you look at the obesity rate, hypertension rate, heart disease. I’m not talking about the elderly. I’m talking about 18 and younger are coming in with adult type problems. That’s what we need to be focusing on. We need to prepare these kids, because it’s not their fault, it’s our fault.”

One parent, whose name will not be printed here, said that the mask requirement must be ended. He is against mandatory masking because his son, who is a student at 9R schools, has been suicidal because of the policy.

Adam Howell is a writer who believes in free press and the importance of the constitution. He can be reached by clicking on this link to the contact page.



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2 Responses to “Parents vs COVID cult at Durango School District 9R meeting”

  1. What an awesome website/blog!! Very happy (and thankful) to have come across this !!

     

    Andrea Michel

  2. Thank you, Andrea!

     

    Adam Howell

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