|The Lookout Letter to the editor|
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By Maria Loya
We have all gone through collective trauma as a result of COVID. In August the SMMUSD School Board approved the COVID Surveillance Program that included the required weekly PCR test along with the indoor and outdoor masking of our children in order for them to receive in-person public education.
Many parents felt coerced to consent to the PCR test in order to have their children return to in-person schools. The COVID Surveillance Program was put together quickly to address the fear of COVID as the school year began.
As a result, mistakes were made in the consent process, many parents didn’t realize that they were consenting when filling out the on-line registration form or even understand what they were consenting to.
The initial contracts for approval of the medical vendors, Dr. Now and Malibu Medical, had so many errors that approval had to be delayed and yet there still remain unanswered questions.
How is our children’s biometric data such as their DNA being handled, stored and destroyed in order to avoid unauthorized use?
On Thursday, the School Board will be voting to extend the contract with the two firms to continue administering the PCR test as a screening for COVID 19 virus.
The vote to extend the vendor contract and the PCR test comes on the heels of the CDC discontinuing the test by withdrawing their request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus PCR test.
It has been well documented that one of the problems with the PCR test is that it produces false-positive results. How many false-positive results have been recorded at SMMUSD? How many children were wrongfully quarantined and therefore suffered a significant loss of instruction? These are important questions the must be considered and discussed at Thursday’s School Board meeting.
These medical procedures being required by our School Board representatives are serious decisions that have a direct effect on the health, emotional and mental wellbeing of our children.
However, our SMMUSD School Board representatives have placed the agenda item (item V. 1 Approval of Independent Contractors) under consent, which essentially denies the public any discussion on the issue.
In fact, since the School Board is requiring students to adhere to a medical procedure that has been discontinued by the CDC as EUA (Emergency Use Authorization), they must consider all pro and con studies when taking any future action on any kind of medical mandates for our children.
We will no longer accept the statement that “I don’t know” or “I’m not a doctor, I’m just following the Health Director’s guidelines.” We expect School Board members to do their due diligence and read the peer-reviewed studies related to their mandates.
As parents, voters and taxpayers we demand that a public hearing take place that includes health experts on both sides of the issue to testify, so that the best screening approach to effectively protect our children from COVID is developed into an effective plan of action.
Presently, the SMMUSD School Board should pull the item of extending the contract for Dr. Now and Malibu Medical from the Consent calendar and follow the lead of the CDC and vote to discontinue the use of the PCR test.
Instead, the District should use the temperature check and COVID screening questions as the primary form of COVID screening for all students.
To extend the contract for Dr. Now and Malibu Medical to administer a PCR test that will be discontinued by the CDC without proper discussion shows the complete disrespect that our Board has for the democratic process when continuing medical mandates for our children.
We have to ask ourselves, who do they really represent?
Maria Loya is a political activist and former City Council candidate whose two children attend District schools.
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