Parent speaks out after pulling child from Centner Academy

School threatened teachers’ jobs if they got COVID-19 vaccines

“That’s not a true educational environment,” Iris Acosta-Zobel said of the school that made international news by threatening to fire teachers who got COVID-19 vaccines.

MIAMI – Iris Acosta-Zobel decided that “enough is enough.”

She became so frustrated with Centner Academy that she unenrolled her 7-year old daughter from the Miami private school last week.

“We were very concerned about what are these kids being told inside that educational institution that we don’t approve of,” Acosta-Zobel said. “I mean, what is the morale inside the walls of this school?”

Centner, which has campuses in Miami’s Design District and Edgewater, made international headlines when it came out that the school threatened the jobs of faculty and staff if they got a COVID-19 vaccine.

“That’s not a true educational environment,” Acosta-Zobel said.

Other parents spoke out against the anti-vaccine stance of school CEO Leila Centner last week, asking not to be identified since their children still attend the school. Some said they were met with resistance trying to pull their students.

Some other parents spoke in support of Centner and the administration.

Centner, in a TV interview last week, referenced reports of “unvaccinated women being impacted and having miscarriages by being around vaccinated women.”

Medical experts debunk that statement.

Parents like Acosta-Zobel, whose child had been enrolled in the school for two years, say there were red flags from the beginning.

“From the way she thought children were sick because we were feeding them too much sugar or we were not feeding them right or doing our job right as parents,” Acosta-Zobel said.

Acosta-Zobel said face masks were absent among a majority of staff and teachers during the height of the pandemic.

At least one student emailed their parent saying a teacher was telling them to stay away from their vaccinated parents and not hug for more than five seconds, and to avoid getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

The school acknowledged that was an isolated mistake by that one teacher.

But for Acosta-Zobel, it was the last straw.

“We’re blessed that our child is not in that environment anymore,” she said.

Acosta-Zobel added that the majority of teachers she encountered at the school were well-intentioned and good teachers. However, the policies from the top were not a fit for her and her family.

About the Author:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.