Florida private school won’t allow teachers, staff to get COVID-19 vaccine

Miami school sends letter to parents

Clinical research group in Jacksonville conducting COVID-19 vaccine trials on children as young as 12

MIAMI, Fla. – A private school in Miami is warning its staff against getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Centner Academy said its school policy, to the extent possible, not to employ anyone who has gotten a coronavirus vaccine until further information is known.

“Here we have one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal to protect ourselves and prevent this problem and they are discouraging the use of it. It’s tragic,” said Dr. Aileen Marty, a FIU infectious disease expert.

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A letter was sent to parents of students at Centner Academy, saying the school discourages teachers and staff from getting the COVID-19 vaccines or to wait until the end of the school year to get vaccinated.

The letter said legal action would be taken if they lied about it.

“This is a private school. It’s not a public school. So, generally, a private employer in Florida can fire someone for any reason or no reason at all,” said Carter Sox, an employment lawyer.

Sox said firing someone for getting the vaccine is legal in this case. But there appears to be some recourse if fired personnel want to fight it.

“There is a potential for the teachers to say that this rule would discriminate against them based on a disability,” Cox said. “So, they may say they have a serious medical condition that requires them to get the vaccine.”

The FEMA-backed vaccination sites across Florida resumed the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Sunday but were met with low demand for the shots.

According to the New York Times, which published an article on the Centner situation, faculty was told to fill out a confidential form answering whether they received the vaccine, which one and how many doses.

“It’s egregious towards anyone who wants to protect themselves from this virus, who would be employed by them,” Marty said.

In the letter, the school claims tens of thousands of women worldwide had adverse reproductive issues by just being near someone who was vaccinated, including irregular menstruation, bleeding and miscarriages.

“There is nothing infectious in the vaccine whatsoever and the type of immunity that they induce in no way affects anything to do with someone’s fertility,” Marty said.

Orange County health leaders want to help educate and inform those who may be hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine, so they hosted a town hall Monday to help build trust.

The school also claimed it spoke with medical leaders about the vaccine, that it’s experimental and not enough is known about it.

Marty is confident in the use of the vaccine and questions who the medical experts are that the school is using.

“The author has a very primitive understanding of what a vaccine is and really no understanding of the scientific process,” Marty said.

The United Teachers of Dade union released a statement saying, “These schools not only teach misinformation and peddle propaganda, they punish teachers who try to protect themselves and their families.”

It goes on to stay, “We are horrified by the unsafe conditions and labor violations that colleagues at schools such as this one have to endure due to lack of union representation and contract rights.”