ARTESIA, CA – Christie Gravitt is a 25-year veteran teacher at Artesia’s ABC Unified School District. She is also the parent of a fifth grader at Kennedy STEM Academy. Her daughter was harassed this week for being exposed to COVID and forced to quarantine for five days, even though she consistently tests negative. A negative test is not sufficient in the eyes of the school district and the LA Department of Health.
On Monday, her child was pulled out of class with several others because they were in close contact with someone who had tested positive in their classroom. The school put the children on a plant box while contacting the parents, and then identified which children had been vaccinated or not. The vaccinated children were allowed to return to their classrooms, even at the risk of being positive or carrying the virus. The unvaccinated students were told they had to leave campus and could not return for five days in quarantine until they showed a negative COVID test.
Christy and her husband decided it was not okay. He refused to pick her up. The school continued to place their daughter in a small isolation room alone without a teacher, supervision or instruction. Eventually, Christy’s husband decided he would not leave her there and picked her up.
During the night, they secured a lawyer who took up the case and gave Gravitt’s guidance on their rights. They were now determined to send their daughter back to school, knowing that what the school was doing, under the district’s instructions, was illegal and discriminatory.
“It’s against the law. They can not keep her out of school this way. Not to mention that this is discrimination because she is unvaccinated, ”Christy said.
Father accompanied his daughter over to her classroom the next morning, a Tuesday, and they were greeted by the principal and three district administrators. Their daughter refused to go, even after they had told her so, and she said “you can not deny me my rights”.
Proud mother Christy said,
“This is my 11-year-old who speaks so boldly and, of course, respectfully to them, but she knows her rights. They then escorted her to the office and put her back in solitary confinement. The three district administrators went outside the campus to talk to my husband. One of the district administrators, Christina Weiss, called the sheriff and said there are hostile parents at the school. Another district administrator, Melinda Ortiz, director of schools at ABC Unified, heard that there was a lawyer on the line and she said: ‘ I’m not talking to a lawyer. No way. ”
The lawyer claimed that Christy’s daughter would come to school every day and every day they refuse her to come to campus to study, it would be a fine of $ 25,000.
Ortiz began to become belligerent as she disliked the way the conversation went. The lawyer calmly told her the codes and laws she breaks, including the laws regarding the rejection and denial of the child’s educational rights and discrimination.
Father checked his daughter in the isolation room. While the principal was appropriate with his daughter, the police were not. They confiscated her cell phone after accusing her of video recordings. Of course, there was nothing, and eventually she got her privacy violated.
Another unvaccinated young classmate was told he was to be quarantined, but they will join Gravitt’s daughter tomorrow. This is the second time he is in quarantine in two weeks. He had just returned to school last Friday after being quarantined for five days. But due to be revealed again on Friday, the clock is now reset.
“It’s 10 days where he did not meet his educational needs or be taught by a teacher,” Christy noted.
Both children have done the school-delivered rapid COVID tests and tested negative.
“It would be as simple as this. Why don’t you let everyone test in the morning before they get to school, like in the office?”
Even though that scenario is still discriminatory, would it not be a less extreme solution?
“We have to get up. We have to start saying no. The district will say, ‘Oh, we’re just following protocols from the LA Department of Health.’ The LA Department of Health is breaking the law. By following their protocols, they are breaking the law. And more people need to stand up and deny this and do what I do. Teach your children to say no. “
Christy saw great unity when people stopped to think. As a teacher, she remembers a recent situation around plexiglass.
“I can tell you they made the kids suffer by putting plexiglass on their desks. It was awful. Kids could not see the blackboard. We could not see the students, people were complaining. And no one was listening. The neighborhood just said no. , you must have plexiglass. Parents did not like it, children did not like it. And eventually they took it down. It was like this freedom. Whether you were a vaccinated teacher or an unvaccinated teacher, everyone was grateful that the plexiglass went. It said doctors and scientists. Even our own district said that plexiglass actually inhibited the airflow of the HEPA filters we have in the class. So it was not healthy for us. And the other thing is that it just is divided so many people.It is divided staffs, friendships, families.I am very lucky that I work in an environment where everyone is quite supportive.Nevertheless it has created a little bit of tension here and there.Because it has become so political, and this should not be a political thing mention, this is not a vaccine. A vaccine prevents the disease. This is not a vaccine when you can still get the disease. “
Christy makes the clear distinction that the problem does not lie with her immediate staff. It’s the people above them.
“My principal has been very professional and friendly. She must follow the district’s protocols. It is the district that does not handle this [properly]. They are the ones who abide. And every time you send an email to the district, the same thing comes back every time: a standard letter with “we follow the LA County Department of Health and their protocols.” It was they who came to campus today. They were the ones who told my daughter she had to go. They were the ones who called the police after my husband. These were district officials, Scott Smith, Christina Weiss and school director Melinda Ortiz. “
Bureaucrats blindly praying for those above them are the problem, especially when the basis is an unsound knee-jerk policy. These overreactions to COVID and blind reactions become political because they have done it this way when they refuse to take data or results into the real world, because their party affiliates shut down discussion and witch hunts for anyone looking for truth and nuances. Ultimately, this deprives children of their childhood and deprives parents of their rights. After Christy, this must stop and we must get up. Enough is enough.