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Parents voice concerns to LPOSD board of trustees

by EMILY BONSANT
Staff Writer | September 17, 2021 1:00 AM

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PONDERAY — Parents showed up in droves for Tuesday’s Lake Pend Oreille School Board meeting to voice concerns over everything from “board and superintendent overreach” to COVID restrictions and vaccines.

The board did not take action on public comment at the meeting. LPOSD COVID-19 guidelines were not on the meeting agenda. The board took copies of parent research for consideration.

Among concerns raised during the public input portion held at the start of the meeting were questions over the COVID-19 vaccine’s safety, with some citing the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System database and calling on district officials to show proof the vaccine is safe and assurances that no vaccine clinics will be held at district schools

“A Harvard study shows that VAERS only receives 1% of the data on adverse reactions to vaccines since the data is voluntarily reported,” Tawny Mcdonald said. “VAERS says the potential side effects include Guillain-Barré Syndrome, Bell's Palsy, anaphylaxis, transverse myelitis, pericarditis, thrombocytopenia and myocarditis,” said Mcdonald.

A New England Journal of Medicine study indicates there is a 60% mortality rate within three years for those diagnosed with myocarditis, said Mcdonald.

“I have a 13-year-old neighbor,” she said. “Your recommendation could end his life.”

While critics point to deaths in VAERS citing the vaccine, CDC and FDA officials say the agency’s doctors have found no link between those deaths and the COVID-19 vaccines.

Quoting Thomas Sowell, Sandpoint City Engineer Dan Tadic and parent of two LPOSD students, said things are believed because they are demonstrably true, others are believed because the claim is repeated so often it is accepted as fact.

Until 2020 the U.S did not mask up every cold and flu season, because masks do not work to stop the spread of a respiratory virus, said Tadic.

“Lack of proof of efficacy aside, the case for masking children is weaker still, the data proves that children are simply not a significant vector for transmission and are at exceptionally low risk for a severe outcome from COVID,” he added.

Tadic reminded board members of its own survey results from July given to parents and staff on masking. Over 900 parents responded, with 89% stating that masking should be optional within the district.

He noted that 85% of district staff agreed with 227 also saying masks should be optional, noting it would be difficult to find any issue with that level of agreement.

Others contended as public officials, the board is obligated to follow the will of the people; and still other said masks were child abuse and badges of fear.

“We're not dealing with a pandemic. Pandemic lasts three months because of the changing nature of viruses,” she said. “This is not about science, but dogma, religious fervor and psychotic, tyrannical dictates.”

Parents called on the board to adopt rules to ensure parents have full sovereignty of their children's health choices. Among the suggestions was for the school curriculum to be fully available for every taxpayer at any given time.

“It doesn't matter if I've got children in the district or not,” she said. “We as taxpayers have the right to know what the curriculum is.”

Breana Barnes addressed the superintendent’s past comments on the emotional strains on children far outweigh the benefits of masking. She asked why there had been no discussion on the psychological aspects of masking children.

Not all parents spoke against masking or the COVID-19 vaccines. Mike Miller, a retired researcher for diseases in wildlife, said COVID-19 needs to be taken seriously, relaying a previously healthy family member's battle with COVID-19. Miller also noted there is peer pressure for SHS students not to wear masks.

LPOSD Board of Trustees meetings are the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at the Ponderay Event center at 5 p.m. The agenda for meetings can be found on the district website under the board of Trustees tab.

Running unopposed for reelection is Lonnie Williams. Running for Zone 5 is Tonya Sherman. Gary Suppiger is running for his 2nd term against Jalon Peters.

The full length video of the LPOSD meetings can be found on their YouTube page and on the district site.