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COVID-19 Mandates are Devastating Our Schools

Updated: Jul 2, 2022



Originally published in American Thinker on January 28, 2022

By Sarah Smith


Masking, testing, and vaccination mandates are devastating our schools. Two-thirds of the United States have shown that these mandates are not necessary for safe operation of schools, yet children and teachers are continuing to suffer in over a dozen states.


Here in New Mexico, a state already known for its failing educational system, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s COVID mandates are physically, emotionally, and mentally damaging to our children, teachers, and school personnel. This damage is not isolated to one particular school or district; it is happening all over the state to New Mexicans young and old, Latino and white, wealthy and poor. And there are no obvious benefits.


New Mexico has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country and has been under a statewide mask mandate for nearly two years. Even though many already have natural immunity, our teachers are mandated to receive COVID shots and booster shots, or else face unfair testing and quarantine requirements. Students and teachers are forced to wear masks in school, and even outdoors in some districts. Nonetheless, we are currently experiencing one of the worst COVID surges in the country, with high hospitalization and death rates.


Our people are suffering, but the Governor’s office is not listening. Governor Lujan Grisham has even gone so far as to remove an entire elected school board who voted to remove the mask mandate in their district.


Because I’ve been vocal about civil rights throughout the pandemic, parents from all over the state have reached out to me to share their concerns over the school mandates. I’m also organizing a group of several hundred NM teachers and school personnel who are being harmed by the mandates, and the experiences they have shared with me are distressing. The following are just some of the many accounts of harm due to COVID mandates in NM schools.


Mask Mandates

  • Because of masking, NM children, teachers, and school personnel are suffering blackouts, vomiting, breathing problems, dizziness, disorientation, nosebleeds, and other health problems. These types of negative health effects have also been documented in scientific studies.

  • Young children are vomiting in their masks, and ashamed such that they do not remove their masks. School personnel become aware when vomit is dripping out of the children’s masks. This was reported by school personnel from two districts in southeastern and northern NM.

  • According to NM teachers and learning specialists, masks directly impede the learning of crucial skills such as reading and mathematics, have serious negative effects on children’s emotional and developmental health, and interfere with children’s ability to learn communication and facial expressions.

  • A school social worker is seeing a great increase in suicidal depression in NM school children. A young child who has a mask medical exemption was denied access to in-person education and was only allowed access to online school (which does not work well for this young child).

  • A young boy came home from school with his mask duct-taped to his nose. His teacher had duct-taped his mask to his nose to keep it in place.

  • Teachers and children are being harassed about masks. Children in multiple districts have received in-school suspensions for pulling their masks down to catch their breath. A teacher in southern NM was harassed about pulling her mask down to drink in class such that she now hides in her classroom closet to take a drink.

  • Children’s sense of safety and health is being deranged such that they believe it is dangerous to breathe. According to a northern NM teacher, students are afraid to remove their masks outdoors because they are afraid that taking off their masks will result in the teacher dying.




Vaccination Mandates, Coercion, and Discrimination

  • Unvaccinated NM children, teachers, and school personnel (many of whom have robust natural immunity) are required to submit to COVID tests in order to participate in school. There are known risks to COVID-19 tests, including exposure to ethylene oxide on nasal swabs (which is known to cause cancer through inhalation), cerebrospinal fluid leak, and severe nasal bleeds. The CDC acknowledges that fully vaccinated people can easily spread COVID-19. Thus, it is irrational and punitive to require only unvaccinated teachers and students to be tested.

  • Unvaccinated children and teachers who will not submit to three COVID tests after being identified as a “close contact” have been required to quarantine for 10-20 days. This has resulted in unvaccinated children missing many days of school due to multiple quarantines and falling far behind over the course of a semester.

  • Children, teachers and school personnel are being discriminated against, threatened, and harassed because of their vaccination status. A teacher in northern NM called out all of the unvaccinated students in class and required them to segregate from the other students. A teacher in southeast NM reported that the unvaccinated teachers at his school were called out over the intercom and required to line up at the principal’s office. A teacher in northwest NM and a school bus driver in northern NM were terminated because of their testing and vaccination status.

  • Despite the facts that a) children have extremely low risk from COVID-19 illness, b) COVID-19 vaccinations are linked to increased risk of heart problems in young people, c) clinical trials for all COVID-19 vaccinations are ongoing, and d) long-term risks of COVID-19 vaccinations are unknown, children in NM have been offered $100 incentives to receive COVID-19 vaccination.

  • A teacher reported that at the vaccination clinic in her elementary school, some young children who are fearful of the shots are being held down and forced to receive vaccination. These children’s parents have signed consent forms for their children to receive COVID-19 vaccination at school. There is potential long-term trauma for the children being forced to receive vaccination as well as the other children who have witnessed these forced injections.



COVID-19 Mandates are Harming Children’s Educations

Forcing children, teachers, and school personnel to be masked, tested, and vaccinated is clearly not working. Many children are falling behind educationally as well as suffering physical and emotional health problems because of the mandates.


There was already a shortage of teachers, and the mandates are further worsening the situation by driving many capable, dependable teachers out of the school system. Inferior personnel are now being hired and teachers are being asked to cover multiple classes. The teacher shortage has even reached the point where state employees and the National Guard are being called on to serve as substitute teachers. There is much more to education than having someone there who is knowledgeable; the kids need continuity, connection, and relationships with their educators. The educators need to know the students, so they can tailor the teaching and lessons to the kids’ strengths and weaknesses.


Furthermore, COVID-19 mandates are creating a hostile environment in our schools. Teachers, school personnel, and students are being discriminated against, harassed, bullied, and threatened because of the mandates.


All people have a fundamental right to choose whether or not to use medical devices and treatments, without coercion, threats, or discrimination. It is time to put children first and remove the mandated COVID-19 vaccinations, masking, and testing in our schools.



Sarah Smith is a leader for the National Coalition for Health Integrity. She is also a natural healthcare practitioner and former NASA aerospace engineer.

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6 Comments


I can see your point. I think some people need guidance on following good public health practices. Is it unfair to ask kids to wash their hands, cover their sneezes, stay home with a fever, get lifesaving vaccines or protect others from a potentially deadly virus with a mask in a public setting? Some answers are obvious others up for debate. Personally, I think we have an obligation to the community not just ourselves.

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Sarah
Sarah
Jan 30, 2022
Replying to

Are you really saying that children who are passing out or vomiting or dizzy because of their masks should have to wear them anyway? People who want to wear masks are free to do so (and can even wear two masks if that are so concerned about others being unmasked). Doesn't the "obligation to the community" go both ways, and shouldn't it also extend to protect the people for whom masks or vaccines are harmful?

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stephie.seeg
stephie.seeg
Jan 30, 2022

I has no idea that the state of NM has suffered under mask mandates for so long! That is indeed devastating. I share your concerns for the long-term impact that masks may have on young school children (and everyone else!), both emotionally and academically. I live in northern Utah, where we did have county and state mask mandates for some time, but are now thankfully free from those government intrusions for now. Keep fighting the good fight! Medical discrimination is wrong, and is being carried out in so many ways in the name of “safety.” Our basic right to choose what we inject into our own bodies, and what we wear or do not wear on our faces is extremely…

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Sarah
Sarah
Jan 30, 2022
Replying to

Thanks for sharing your perspective and encouragement! Totally agree with you about our rights to determine what is best for our own well-being.

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I have a high school Junior who is happy to be back in school and has no problem wearing a mask. He’s also vaccinated. The masks have kept many vulnerable people safe including parents like us and honestly, this policy is not devastating. Its a smart thing to do.

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Sarah
Sarah
Jan 30, 2022
Replying to

The fact that the masks do not harm *your* child does not mean that they are okay for everyone. Children who want to wear masks should be free to do so, but forcing all children to mask is clearly harmful to some children and those children's needs do matter. Furthermore, there is much data showing that requiring masks in schools does not actually make a difference in case rates. Look at this data, for instance.


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