MIAMI – A South Florida private school is making headlines for its vaccine policy, advising teachers not to get their shots.
There has been a firestorm of controversy over an email that went out to faculty and staff at the exclusive Miami private school Centner Academy, warning staff against taking any of the COVID-19 vaccines, saying the school will no longer employ anyone who has received a shot.
Centener Academy has campuses in the Design District and Edgewater.
It’s very pricey, with tuition starting at nearly $25,000 a year for Pre-K and elementary school students.
Co-founder Leila Centner sent an email to parents on Monday, laying out the school’s policy on vaccines, alleging, without citing any scientific evidence, that vaccinated persons may be transmitting something from their bodies that could harm others, impacting fertility and the reproductive systems of women and also the development of children.
FIU Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Aileen Marty called the school’s moves reckless.
“This is completely irresponsible,” she said. “It is spreading rumors about something that is completely unfounded. There is absolutely no basis in fact in any of the allegations that are made against the vaccine there.
“It’s just frightening that such a high level of misinformation is going out from someone who runs a school. It’s terrible.”
In a statement to Local 10 News, Centner Academy said, in part:
“The health and safety of our students has and remains our number one priority…Until more is known, we must err on the side of caution when it comes to the welfare of our students and the school team…We are not 100% sure the COVID injections are safe and there are too many unknown variables for us to feel comfortable at this current time.”
Several parents have told Local 10 News they are outraged by the school’s policy.
Some parents pulled their children from the school earlier in the year when Centner Academy was not enforcing mask-wearing or social distancing, despite a student testing positive for COVID-19 in September.
Other parents have been forced to keep their children enrolled until the term ends on June 18 because they said the school refuses to refund any tuition that was already paid.