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How a Miami School Became a Beacon for Anti-Vaxxers

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How a Miami School Became a Beacon for Anti-Vaxxers

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Ms. Centner, an avid social media consumer who has lengthy used her accounts to doc her luxurious way of life, took efficient management of the varsity final yr, within the midst of the pandemic. She informed the group that the varsity, with prekindergarten by way of eighth grades, would deal with “happiness” and espouse “medical freedom.”

Credit…Romain Maurice/Getty Images For Haute Living

But interviews with 21 present and former dad and mom and lecturers, in addition to a assessment of social media posts and of faculty paperwork, emails, textual content messages and movies, present how the rich and well-connected Ms. Centner introduced her anti-vaccination and anti-masking views into the varsity’s day-to-day life, turning what had been a tightknit group into one bitterly break up between those that help her views on vaccinations and people who don’t.

“Every afternoon I have to explain things to my child when she comes home and says, ‘How come the school says what you’re saying is not right?’” stated Iris Acosta-Zobel, referring to the significance she provides at house to masking and vaccinations. She pulled her daughter out of the varsity on Friday.

David J. Centner, a former digital freeway tolling entrepreneur who co-founded the varsity in its present iteration along with his spouse, stated in written responses to questions that the varsity was listening to households. “We have met with more than 70 parents, and we are pleased that so many families continue to support our mission and trust us with their children,” he stated.

Sara Dagan, who has 4 youngsters on the faculty, stated she was not troubled by the controversy. “Everything was blown out of proportion,” she stated. “I’m comfortable with holding off on the vaccine. My main concern is the happiness of the kids.”

Most individuals interviewed for this text requested anonymity to guard their youngsters or their employment. Some former dad and mom and lecturers stated they feared retaliation in the event that they spoke publicly. Others declined to remark as a result of the varsity had made them signal nondisclosure agreements.

The anti-vaccination coverage requires not too long ago vaccinated lecturers to take care of a distance from college students — Ms. Centner informed lecturers to not hug the youngsters, for instance. It prompted such a frenzy that a reporter requested about it throughout a White House briefing. (The faculty obtained $804,375 from the federal Paycheck Protection Program through the pandemic.) Jen Psaki, the press secretary, famous that public well being tips strongly encourage vaccines towards the coronavirus and are supposed to maintain individuals secure.

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