My daughter is a talented visual artist who is a junior at a prominent charter school in Santa Fe. On Aug. 17, I received a notification from my daughter’s school that she had been identified as having been in “close contact” with someone at her school who tested positive for COVID-19. It said contact presumably occurred Aug. 10-12, and now my daughter is not allowed to attend classes in person for 10 days from the date of contact. Unless, of course, she is vaccinated against COVID-19. She is not. And she never will be.
So, my daughter and I went to the school and met with the principal and the school head to find out what their plan is to ensure my daughter continues to get the same high-quality education as her classmates who are allowed to go to class in person. They have no plan. And furthermore, they do not intend to make a plan.
Given the current state of the spread of the coronavirus, it is very likely this is going to continue to happen for the foreseeable future. The school’s response is that they don’t care. They. Don’t. Care.
I told the principal and head of school that I understand they have no control over the situation. But they agree with the state’s orders. For them, it is not a problem. They are fine with students (who choose not to get the COVID-19 vaccine) missing valuable in-person class time. They. Don’t. Care.
From last year, the teachers have screens and cameras still set up in their classrooms for online teaching. No plan at all to turn them on for the students who are being denied an in-person education. Of course we have asked the teachers if they will turn them on, but we haven’t heard back yet. And as we learned last year when all schools went online, that is no substitute for in-person learning.
So, what is a parent who believes in “my body, my choice” to do? If I take my daughter out of this school, where does she go to get a high-quality education that caters to artists? Is there a school in Santa Fe that isn’t following the Public Education Department’s orders? I can’t imagine it. Is there even a private school that isn’t following the same orders? As if I could afford it.
How about home schooling? My daughter is an excellent student. She works hard and is motivated to do well. She makes excellent grades. She belongs in a classroom with real teachers and classmates she enjoys learning with and who enjoy learning with her.
It should be obvious to everyone that what we are witnessing here is medical apartheid. Ostracism of an innocent young person for not conforming. For thinking for herself and making her own decisions for herself. This is sick. And it has to stop.