VETERANS-FOR-STUDENTS

Open Letter – A Perspective from a Mother, Father, and Veteran Family on MASKING

Dear Triad CUSD #2 BOE,

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter, I understand it is a lengthy one and I value your time.  I am just one in a body of concerned Madison County parents who begs you to take a bold stance for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. 

Nothing is without risk.  Nothing worth having has ever come FREE or without sacrifice. I understand taking a stance, often comes with SACRIFICE.

These mitigations are clearly interrupting our Childrens’ ability to access education and are having a long-term impact on our kids. Recent data and personal experience over the last 16 months prove that masking, distancing, and vaccinating comes with risks and each parent needs to make an informed decision to weigh the risks of covid with the risk of masking, distancing, and vaccinating.  Please do not “mandate” that all children mask, distance, test and vaccinate to receive the blessing of learning in our schools. I feel as though all parents have the right to what mitigations their families adopt on an individual basis with the guidance of their family doctors. 

In our household of six, the COVID mitigations have caused many difficulties and had a lasting impact on our four children. Four times, in four months (once a month each) all four of our children had to be removed from class due to a “symptom.” To put this in perspective, one of those four times our 8-year-old son was running around after lunch outside in November. Cold air and running, naturally makes noses run and throats temporarily sore. (Have you taken an early morning jog or PT run in late autumn/early winter?) Upon going inside and asking the school nurse for a cough drop, he was sent to the office to be picked up. At this time, this included his three other siblings based on policy, until he could be cleared by his pediatrician. To describe this in quantitative measures, those 4 instances like the one described were around 8 days total absence for all four students, $120 in copays for doctors’ visits, and around 8 hours missed work with no pay in travel/office waits for each appointment. In each case, our children were cleared with zero issues. NORMAL cold, runny nose, or sinus/allergy issues. 

Outside of these four instances, twice in the spring both of our daughters had to quarantine at home for two weeks due to “close contact” with someone who “tested positive” for COVID despite masks and 6 ft social distancing already in place. Why were we distancing, forcing our children to wear masks all day at school, and still quarantining them for two weeks upon someone else testing “positive” if the initial measures worked? Initially as parent’s we tried to allow our older daughters to stay home and do their remote work. Grades were impacted, and again our children struggled with the “remote-learning” aspect of the school year. Staying on task without guidance is difficult for all children, in classroom learning limits the number of distractions available to children and helps them to focus on the task at hand. Quantifiable measures for this in terms of impact, are that in the long term our incoming Freshman no longer qualified for certain honors classes despite having always been a straight A student prior to this past year, and ultimately around 2 and a half weeks of missed work again without pay. Someone had to be home during their quarantine period to keep them on task, and the struggle of rotating schedules (hybrid/remote/etc.) from the beginning of the year led our honor roll student to unstable grades. Despite pulling through at the end, her lack of consistency disqualified her for honors classes that she would have achieved in a normal year.

Our eight-year-old has struggled with increased anxiety, which is an even larger deal for a child such as him who already struggles with ADHD. Each of our children have struggled with headaches and dizziness, acne despite washing and rotating masks (including our 6-year-old), issues with breathing and upper respiratory problems they hadn’t ever experienced prior. They have had increased anxiety, increases in feeling isolated, and for the first time – an aversion to wanting to even attend school anymore. Two have been in regular and consistent counseling during this period because of their struggles. Remote learning has been (despite its best efforts) a huge struggle in a household like our own, with four children of differing ages in two (now three) different schools within the district. Unlike having books and packets of information, where parents used to check an agenda book and sign off on it or sit down and see in their children’s backpack what has been assigned to their student, and is physically trackable, we had no idea half the time what was going on. Each school used different platforms for communication, different online resources, and different teams used different methods of distributing an agenda or schedule for the online “teams” log ins, etc. 

With computers, we noticed our children were more easily distracted, able to switch onto YouTube or other “games” with their Chromebook, and schoolwork would fall behind despite our best efforts to ask daily, see the homework, ask about assignments and projects, ask about upcoming tests, help them to study, or guide them in keeping an agenda on their own initiative etc. Regarding our kindergartener, devices weren’t even supplied (as they were for our three other students). Typically, this wouldn’t be a huge deal, but in a household like ours with both parents working and in school, it left us without any device or time on our own devices, for him to do his work unless we purchased another device out of pocket. The impacts on many households and students, have been larger than are spoken about. Financially, career wise, and for everyone mentally and emotionally. For our family, both prior Navy Veterans, we have been back in school to finish our degrees while also working. In the last year, I personally have quit my degree program entirely to meet the needs of our children and the policies of the schools during this time. You can’t miss clinicals six times, nor can you allow 12-year old’s to suddenly be on half day attendance, come home and stay motivated and on task to do half of their day online without any supervision. Saying that, it’s also true that many families can’t afford the alternative of hiring a nanny, or childcare providers. Perhaps under normal circumstances it would be possible, but COVID has changed many things financially for families, even those who have continued working throughout. Additionally, our kindergarten and second grade sons couldn’t remember their classmates’ names for the entire first half of the year. When our kindergartener saw a classmate in public the first time at the grocery store, he had NO CLUE that they went to class together every day. He didn’t recognize them, which is miraculous, as we had played outside of school without masks on – but in public he didn’t know. The social impact of this past school year alone, has been crippling for so many kids, not just our own. 

Lockdown has impacted many things, which is no secret for America right now. Parents have mostly been understanding, supportive, and willing to extend effort in the past year and a half. Families have been willing to go along with the recommendations, patient for the most part I believe, and willing to extend understanding for those in your position who have been trying to mitigate issues like these. This should not however, be abused. I share our experiences above, not as a complaint, but as an explanation to what our family has personally experienced. We have understood, and like many families, have worked with the school district in understanding of the hardships COVID has brought forward in our community. In every circumstance, there comes a moment in time where decisions must be made that can later be referred to as “turning-points” throughout history. I am only one mom, one veteran, one community member; I believe this to be one of those times in our Nation. These are the decisions that would be referred to as “critical” because the repercussions can become exponential. This is a call to action for each of you, it’s time to remember what being American means, the sacrifices that were made historically for us to be the Country we are and have the freedoms and leisure we have had for so long. 

Parents, and children alike, are ready to be unmasked. The choice should belong to the household, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated. I understand the CDC guidance that was issued this last week recommends those who remain unvaccinated should remain masked, but I respectfully disagree and respectfully point out that it’s a recommendation, not a law. Those entities that are “pushing” the COVID vaccines as potentially mandatory or pushing everyone to partake in them via various loopholes, should consider fully the ramifications of that behavior and what it implicates long term for every American and our claim to being “free.” It is ethically wrong, and medical malpractice, to refer to the COVID19 vax as a “vaccine” rather than the experimental drug that it is, lacking in FDA approval and authorized under emergency use only. The clinical trial for these “vaccines” does not end until 2023. The vaccine companies themselves are not liable for adverse reactions, damages, or death. OSHA has made moves these past several months where employers are concerned, who were “mandating” vaccination as terms of employment. Those employers can be liable. VAERS is updating numbers weekly on the experimental drug’s adverse events, damages, and deaths. The numbers have exceeded EVERY vaccine in the past 10-15 years. Essentially, every vaccine our children have taken (that are FDA approved and required by schools) combined, have had less adverse reactions and associated deaths in a 15-year period than this ONE emergency authorization use “vaccine” on its own in 4 months. It should also be noted, that as with ALL the changing CDC and WHO recommendations, and data numbers over the past year and half, there are issues with accuracy. Science is ALWAYS changing, the historical proof of that is undeniable. As of today, 7/12/2021 it has been noted that the FDA is expected to announce that the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine has been linked to the Guilian-Barre syndrome. In the JAMA Pediatrics research published 6/30/2021, the results of carbon dioxide intake in children are shown to surpass the levels already deemed unsafe by an exponential amount. This too is “science” and that’s a point to be made. We are to follow the science, and the argument is made that down the road if things go VERY wrong with the science – districts, BOEs, and medical practitioners were just “doing their job” or “following the guidance” yet the science is continually changing, the numbers have been continually changing, and the reports outside of JUST the CDC have been continually changing. Medical Journals and Researchers, renowned epidemiologists, virologists, past CEOs of vaccine manufacturers, and the developers of mRNA and PCR tests have all been noted contradicting the initial “narrative” of science. Science is meant to be questioned. As a student and graduate of Triad, it was taught as the inquisitive mind’s innovative, due diligence, and research to asking questions, theorizing, and finding probable answers. Science has never been arbitrary, and to “follow” the science has always meant to continuously study, adapt, learn, and continue apprising yourself of the up-to-date science. Science quite literally would not be science, without opposing theory; it would never be advanced without questioning, making mistakes, and searching for the answers. The issue here, is potentially mandating “science” in the form of extended mask mandates or emergency-use-authorized experimental drugs on the weakest of our communities, our children, and eliminating their choice. What if you are wrong, and the science proves (as it is showing) to be harmful or dangerous? As we have historically seen with the Nuremburg Trials – “just doing our job” won’t be acceptable. You are in tough positions, as are the parents and families in various regions of our Nation. Prioritization should come down to the root of everything, Americans are FREE, and humanity should have basic human rights. 

As board members, you are in a position of opportunity to be BOLD and stand for those basic human rights and Freedom as our historical figures have done throughout American History. There will come a time, where our present circumstances are considered “history” and your choices can and will directly and in ways indirectly, alter the course of what “History” is going to be taught to the generations going forward. Without arguing the “science” of this vaccine, or the masks (JAMA Pediatrics has released a recent study, and world news offers many differing views on the emerging “science”) at the end of the day, ask yourself about the legalities, the constitutional rights, and impacts of attempting to strip fellow Americans of those things. There is a reason it’s an “emergency authorization use” drug, the data is there to prove the legal implications, the trial start and end dates, etc. You may be asking why I have gone this far into depth about it, the answer is because it applies when we are discussing the recommendation that those who have not been vaccinated should remain “masked.” The precedence has been set that “recommendation” is viewed as law, in the same way that there was controversy about it being “law” to wear your mask in public all year. Constitutionally, that is NOT true. If this continues to be the case, parents, schools, and boards such as this are teaching American children misguided knowledge on our system of Law as it applies to local, state, and federal. What is “socially” accepted or “socially virtue signaled” is not always “RIGHT” and I believe we should have learned that already from instances throughout history, most prominently noted in Nazi-Era Germany. 

Historically, it would be considered discrimination, a form of segregation, or even a “repercussion” to move forward with plans and policy that show a division amongst individuals. It also seems to be a breach in HIPAA, as that policy would visually announce to other students and faculty, a student’s health status. It’s because of this, and several other points I haven’t named here, that it appears that schools and employers are being coercive of the population, while attempting to remain safe (OSHA) from liability. Push the emergency use experimental drug, while toeing the line of basic human and legal rights and avoiding ramification or legal battles for themselves. (While hoping nobody has the resources, time, or will, to fight back on a legal front- hoping for passivity) Already, our school district is pushing for as many people to be vaccinated as possible. Let that marinate. 

Districts are pushing for families to unnecessarily subject their children to an experimental drug “vaccine” that is factually in trial, making them a part of that trial, to attend school in America without having to wear a mask. This is happening while the science has indicated that children are less impacted by COVID, having more adverse reactions to this same experimental drug (especially where it concerns their heart – myocarditis, and cardiomyopathy with ongoing studies CURRENTLY), that vaccination is NOT preventing COVID cases, in some countries the new cases are HIGHER among those who were vaccinated, and ongoing research is showing that there are adverse health impacts to wearing a mask for hours of the day. Those affects range from breathing in high percentages of CO2, to staph infections, respiratory infections, acne problems, and psychological and social impacts, etc. Today our district stated by email: 

Parents, 

 
On Friday, the CDC released updated guidance regarding the upcoming school year. In this guidance, it was clearly stated that vaccinated students and staff members will be allowed to be unmasked while indoors at school. We would like to encourage all who are eligible for the COVID vaccine to schedule an appointment.  COVID vaccines are offered through the Madison County Health Department (https://arcg.is/bqrfO0) as well as many local pharmacies and some doctors’ offices.  
 

Additional guidance is forthcoming regarding district protocols and procedures for unvaccinated students.

 
Those who are vaccinated with the emergency use experimental drug, will be “allowed” to be unmasked. Guidance isn’t announced about those who are not and what they will be “allowed” to do. VAERS data, and many other sources, have proven based on the “science” that this “vaccine” doesn’t stop anyone from still getting or even spreading COVID19. In fact, America’s Frontline Doctors, Children’s Health Defense, and other “world” renowned doctors, scientists, virologists, and epidemiologist are speaking out to the “science” of masks, the COVID19 experimental drug, AND the malpractice taking place. Coerced, forced, manipulated, misguided, and misinformed – none of those things equate to “informed” consent. There are public bodies right now, such as our school above, who appear to be complicit now in coercing students and families, as well as misrepresenting the COVID19 vaccine. Although I believe most have good intentions, it doesn’t change the ideology that sometimes well-intentioned individuals can mislead. The average American is not being fully informed about this experimental drug, and there is enough history available with drugs throughout time to believe caution should already be common sense. As a prior intel analyst during my time in the Navy, I spent an avid amount of time during my workday composing data reports on research, OSINT and otherwise, from a “world stage” viewpoint. The journalism and reports outside of the US vary greatly from the talking points within it.  
 
A Lisbon court recently ruled that only .9% of their 17,000 claimed COVID deaths were due to COVID itself. Scientists are speaking out in the UK on the data that new COVID cases arising are taking place at a higher percentage in already “vaxxed” individuals as opposed to those who did not get the experimental vaccine. This means, the current COVID cases abroad in areas like London and the EU are seeing MORE new cases of COVID in the vaccinated population than the unvaccinated population. The science is being debated regarding impacts of the spike protein, myocarditis, impacts on potential sterilization, miscarriages, bell’s palsy, associated autoimmune diseases and more. It has also been disclosed in various geographical regions that PCR tests are being ran well above the cycle threshold. The science and recommendation on “ages” that should or should not be vaccinated are contradictory and debatable. Just yesterday in a local Walmart, over the inter-comm, it was announced that the vaccine is available there for 16 and older individuals. What is the current guidance on age by the CDC? Currently 12 and up, now. Yet our school is encouraging all who are eligible to go do so, while implicating differing guidelines for those who are unvaccinated. Does this automatically mean all students 12 and under will be mandated to mask this year at Triad, despite the “science” as described in the JAMA Pediatrics Research study? They will continue to suffer because they are not eligible – despite whether parents want to have them a part of the ongoing clinical trial or not? Some countries, such as Canada, are holding vaccine events allowing minors to come and get vaccinated without Parental knowledge. This debate can go into many other areas – a parent would be medically responsible and held legally accountable for a child under XYZ circumstances, but in other circumstances it is okay for that same minor who isn’t a legal adult to determine their own medical choices (that parents are still potentially liable for). An Idaho Middle School was reportedly allowing minors to receive the vaccine during the school day, without parental knowledge. What is “Gillick Competency?” 
 
There are doctors, scientists, and lawyers who are fighting against our children being subjected to this “changing” science. Typically, that’s the point of long-term trials for vaccines and other pharmaceutics. It seems common sense, that the science and the long-term effects will continue to change and be made known “long-term.” Why are we willing to ignore that, and allow it now? Benefit of the doubt would determine that people are not FULLY informed, and informed consent in medical practice is prudent. The alternative is complacency, and I for one would not want to be on the wrong end of being deemed complacent in pushing or cornering families into making their children take part in experimental drug trials KNOWING that the long-term research is not there yet. I would like to note, Nationally everyone seems to be deciding that things are a “Republican” or “Democrat” stance, it isn’t. This is Bipartisan. America is a melting pot of diversity; the medical safety, long-term protection of constitutional rights, and preservation of the Rule of Law for our American Children isn’t political. It is necessary for EVERYONE, children and adults. The difference is children need ADVOCATES willing to stand for them.  

 As Veterans, we believe it’s our inherent right as free Americans, to make choices where it applies to our children, over any state or governing body. It is also our choice, to no longer support public school bodies if those schools and local governments abuse the rights of the Americans they work for. If we believe “segregation” is wrong, no matter how flowery the explanation is coated in policies for children who are unvaccinated vs. those who are – we risk repeating history again. I have never been “anti-vax” and our children are fully vaccinated, per FDA approved vaccines and western medicine. While I am not forever opposed to a vaccine, I am forever opposed to choosing to make my children voluntary participants in an ongoing clinical trial. By doing so, I would be failing my children as well as ALL children impacted by these choices. I’d like to draw your attention to just ONE of the arguments Americans should have about their constitutional rights, and in this case Illinoisans specifically: the Health Care Right of Conscious Act.  The citation is 745 ILCS 70, section 5.  I believe state law prohibits discriminating against people for refusing to participate in mask wearing and vaccination by private or public employers, school districts, or government agencies in general.  At this time, it doesn’t appear a court has yet ruled on this precise issue, but I and others like me, think it’s far past time.  It seems clear that it can be interpreted to mean “I do not want to receive, perform, or accept mask wearing or an emergency use vaccination and you can’t discriminate against me for refusing either, whether it be your employer or your school district.” The language is clear, as is the definition of conscious. As a parent to four minors, who is liable for their care, and responsible for their health and wellbeing – I also believe I have the right to make that choice for my children, discuss these things with my children, and allow them to make their own decisions about their health at the legal age of adulthood. Can each of you, in good conscious, continue this for our children of IL or the children of America, the “Free Nation?”

I am so thankful businesses are opening back up and have gratitude for the tireless efforts of our board, our schools, and our community to keep Madison County moving in a positive direction during these uncharted and unprecedented times. I am appreciative and understanding of the circumstances in finding yourselves between a “rock and a hard place.” That is the nature of your position, and it doesn’t go unnoticed. I am also grateful, and proud, to the parents in our community and Nationwide who are rising to take a stand and speak, despite the controversy and fear. Civil discourse of the hard topics isn’t always openly accepted, in some cases it’s now considered taboo, but it’s entirely necessary and a blessing in our First Amendment Right.

 

Please take a BOLD and Pro-American stance.  Assist in allowing parents to make individual decisions to use or discontinue use of these covid mitigations on an individual basis.  Allow us to weigh the risks with our family doctors, our children, and our families.  Please recognize the American Parent’s right to “parent” freely and make those decisions for their own children and households!  These are basic rights my husband, myself, and many others fought for. They are also the basic rights that the entire world looks to America on. Just this week, citizens of Cuba have been waving our flag and fighting for their own rights. We have seen many other countries do this at times (especially in the last year). Why is that? Our flag symbolizes something to the WORLD, not just Americans. People want to immigrate here because they believe in our Freedom and want the same. The world has looked to America for many years, and these are the times that will define into our future whether they continue to look to “America” as the country of Free People. Your role may feel “smaller” than I have described here, but it is not. Not for any of us.

Thank you for your time and patience and thank you for your consideration of what I have said here today.

Please be BOLD for our rights, our children, and the rights of our generations to come.

Respectfully,

Rachel & Michael Ball

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