Story at a glance
- A wealthy private school in Florida has said it refuses to educate children on critical race theory, gender fluidity or “mainstream” COVID-19 science.
- The school said in a statement on its website that it is encouraging its students to “question, research, analyze and consider issues from multiple perspectives before coming to their own conclusions.”
- The school, Centner Academy, has made headlines in the past for its controversial policies on COVID-19 vaccines for staff and students.
A Florida private school has said it will not teach its students about critical race theory, gender fluidity or “mainstream” COVID-19 science.
“Instead of teaching students what to think, we teach them how to think,” reads a statement from Centner Academy, a wealthy private school in Miami, Fla.
“As our world continues to shift rapidly, we have now found ourselves in a time of more controlled messaging from the media and unprecedented censorship in the United States,” the school wrote on its website. “The repeated messaging from the media shapes cultural norms and the way we view social and cultural issues. Rather than jump on board with the mass media’s storyline, we challenge our students to question, research, analyze and consider issues from multiple perspectives before coming to their own conclusions.”
The statement continues: “For this reason, as a school, we do not subscribe to or promote Critical Race Theory, Gender Fluidity, or the mainstream narrative surrounding COVID, all hot topics that many schools are now choosing to teach as factual rather than as the theories they are.”
Many schools last year sought to crack down on books offered in libraries and classrooms, with titles primarily centering around race, gender and sexuality. More than 30 states have introduced bills or have taken other steps to bar educators from teaching their students about critical race theory.
Currently, critical race theory curriculum has been banned in public schools in 13 states.
Centner Academy, which boasts a price tag of just less than $30,000 per year for middle school students, says it believes in “health freedom” and has encouraged parents to obtain a medical or religious exemption to opt out of the school vaccination program.
The school has falsely linked vaccines in general to increased rates of learning disabilities, asthma and autism in children.
This is not the first time Centner Academy issued controversial remarks regarding the pandemic, and the private school first made headlines in April when it told school staff they “will not be able to return to school until clinical trials are complete” if they get a COVID-19 vaccine.
“We cannot allow recently vaccinated people to be near our students until more information is known,” the school’s CEO and co-founder Leila Centner wrote in a letter to faculty and staff at the time.
In October, Centner Academy instructed parents of vaccinated students to quarantine their children for at least 30 days before returning to school.
The letter to parents read in part “…if you are considering the vaccine for your Centner Academy student(s), we ask that you hold off until the Summer when there will be time for the potential transmission or shedding onto others to decrease,” CNN affiliate WSVN reported.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccine “shedding” may occur only when a vaccine contains a weakened version of a virus, which none of the vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. currently do.
Centner Academy quickly reversed its policy once the Florida Department of Education threatened to pull state funding.
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