Hey, there! Log in / Register

Dorchester elementary school put into 'safe mode' after pair of anti-mask protesters show up and refuse to leave

Administrators at the Kenny Elementary School on Oakton Avenue in Dorchester put the school into "safe" mode - nobody was allowed in or out - for about 20 minutes this morning after two anti-maskers showed up and demanded entry for a 9-year-old student they said didn't want to wear a mask and didn't have to.

Eventually, Boston Police officers showed up and convinced Catherine Vitale, her allegedly mask-averse 9-year-old cousin, and a man who said he was gay and who spent much of the time complaining about schools teaching kids about Pride Month, to leave rather than get arrested, a BPS spokesperson said:

The protesting escalated and out of an abundance of caution, the Kenny school was placed into safe mode and BPS Safety Services and the Boston Police were called.

Upon arrival, BPD worked to deescalate the situation and the entire school community remained in safe mode for approximately 20 minutes until the scene was cleared and it was advised it was safe to return to normal activity.

The Kenny staff, BPS Safety Services and the Boston Police are currently working together to investigate the matter further.

BPS still requires students and staff to wear masks.

Vitale, who used to show up early in the morning at Mayor Wu's house in Roslindale, has lately taken to following Wu around the city with a bullhorn with which to chant at the mayor or simply play the bullhorn's siren. She was among a group who tried to surround the mayor as she walked up Dorchester Avenue during the Dorchester Day parade on Sunday.

And, as they typically do, the anti-maskers posted video of the 53-minute incident, narrated by the professed gay man who, after seeming to get bored complaining about jackbooted fascists stripping Americans of their rights to breath freely, launched into a long harangue about the inappropriateness of elementary schools such as the Kenny letting children know that gay people and Pride Month exist. At one point he wondered if the school offered a similar celebration for Black History Month.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

I wonder where her parents are? Did they know that some random weirdo and her aunt were going to pull this shit with her as a prop?

I also wonder who is funding this nonsense.

up
Voting closed 61

She's supposedly in the hospital and Vitale is watching after her daughter.

up
Voting closed 27

That's pretty damn shitty. Not only is the kid dealing with a sick parent but now Auntie Crazypants isn't letting her go to school and is exploiting her in front of her classmates. Oh look - NOW I HAVE A PROP FOR MY CRAZY!

That poor kid x2.

up
Voting closed 75

If Mom thinks Vitale is a suitable guardian for her I can't even imagine what other situations that childs been put in.

up
Voting closed 8

Cousin, not niece.

up
Voting closed 12

From a quick google search, she's anti-vax, anti-mask, super into conspiracy theories.

I wonder why a friend of hers might be in the hospital...

up
Voting closed 8

Mom knows…she’s complained about it before

up
Voting closed 8

Great timing for the crazies to terrorize a little kids' school.

up
Voting closed 44

wye werent arrests immediately made (the b.p.d. gave them the choice of whether they wanted to be arrested) ?

up
Voting closed 38

Ya they’re crazy and it’s incredibly stupid to show up at a school considering what just happened.

Buy people still have rights.

Also, why is BPS still masking kids, which is as equally bizarre. Mask are optional in almost every public setting now, including planes and trains. Kids are the least at risk group, lets give kids some sense of normalcy back.

up
Voting closed 42

Protesters don't have a legal right to occupy school buildings.

up
Voting closed 8

From what I’ve seen, most kids have been dealing just fine with the masks.

The majority of the people I know personally who have caught COVID since the pandemic began have done so in the last six months, and almost all of them were either kids, or parents, or teachers. And with a couple exemptions, they were not part of BPS.

The masks will come off in Boston, and hopefully soon, but the kids are mostly doing fine, and I don’t see any reason to hurry.

up
Voting closed 8

Like our tried old school buildings, Boston has lots of old teachers. They have to be in the same rooms with all the kids. If I was a teacher, I would appreciate having the kids be masked. By the way, kids are used to masks and it's not a big deal to most of them.

up
Voting closed 49

Thank you for thinking about the teachers as well… so many teachers have been getting sick with COVID and students are testing positive and many with no yo mild symptoms

up
Voting closed 10

It’s a big deal for some kids, especially ones with higher needs, if you look more closely.

https://www.npr.org/2022/01/28/1075842341/growing-calls-to-take-masks-of...

“…a tic disorder that she says is exacerbated by a mask.”

“Howard's read of the evidence is that cloth and even surgical masks are much less useful against omicron.“

"N95 respirators are not designed for children ... a proper fit cannot be achieved on children."

“Masks can interfere with young children's brain development”

“The United States is an outlier in recommending masks from the age of 2 years old. The World Health Organization does not recommend masks for children under age 5, while the European equivalent of the CDC doesn't recommend them for children under age 12.”

“Masks can make it harder to hear and understand speech
Kerry Dingle, the mother in Silver Spring, says her nearly 4-year-old son has a speech delay that had been resolving, with treatment, before the pandemic, but has now gotten worse again.”

“…referrals of children to speech therapy have increased since the pandemic began.”

For school-age children, Spitzer, the psychiatrist, is most concerned that masking interferes with nonverbal communication and emotional bonding.

“Gonzalez says her students who are on the autism spectrum withdraw behind masks.”

“For school-age children, Spitzer, the psychiatrist, is most concerned that masking interferes with nonverbal communication and emotional bonding.
Gonzalez says her students who are on the autism spectrum withdraw behind masks.”

https://amp.france24.com/en/live-news/20220210-masks-in-class-how-damagi...

“Scientific studies have shown that masks do indeed impact children's ability to recognize faces and emotions. As with adults, masks can also interfere with verbal communication.”

https://www.clickondetroit.com/health/2022/05/17/speech-language-patholo...

“The old guidelines suggested a 24-month-old child would have an average vocabulary of 50 words. The new guidelines say a 30-month-old should have a vocabulary of 50 words.”

So what is the priority here? Protecting a teacher who will probably be fine in the end, especially with Paxlovid, or developing the next generation and giving them everything they need to be healthy and competent adults?

Again, the EU’s version of the CDC does not recommend masks for under 12 years old. The powers that be in this country are not following science, they are following the more powerful teacher’s unions that are contributing to dropping student enrollment in their districts.

up
Voting closed 28

"So what is the priority here? Protecting a teacher who will probably be fine in the end, especially with Paxlovid, or developing the next generation and giving them everything they need to be healthy and competent adults?"

I'm glad I made it through the long word salad just to see this shocking bit of selfishness.

Wow, just...wow. Teachers are massively underpaid, overworked, fork out their own cash for school supplies...but that's not enough. They need to risk short term illness, long term illness ("long covid" is a thing), or death so that your crotchspawn aren't "harmed" by some theoretical stunting of their education due to having to wear a mask

up
Voting closed 13

Nearly everything I posted was copied from the npr article. The article quotes scientists, psychiatrists, teachers, speech therapists, and parents regarding the effects on masking kids with special needs. The last quote relates to the cdc moving back developmental guidelines by 6 months, which is a lifetime under the age of 3. Call it a word salad if you want. It all seemed pretty clear to me.

I believe that not giving the kids that require the most assistance exactly what they need in order to prevent a teacher from getting sick is selfish. Just because I think this, doesn’t mean I don’t also think that teachers work hard for little pay, it just means I think the kids deserve to be put first in the discussion, not last.

There were also many people throughout the pandemic who risked getting sick going to work every day who are no less special than teachers.

up
Voting closed 8

"N95 respirators are not designed for children ... a proper fit cannot be achieved on children."

There are N95 masks made for children. In your link it says "California has distributed tens of millions of N95 masks and kid-sized KN95 masks to schools."

up
Voting closed 23

There are no N95 masks for children, because N95 is a NIOSH standard for *workplace* protection and kids don't work.

N95 is not the same as KN95 or KF94, though they're certainly pretty close technically.

KF94 is a Korean standard of wider applicability, and there are plenty of kid-size KF94s (including the ones my kid uses).

Between respiratory diseases and wildfire smoke, it would be good to have a US standard for and certification of this kind of mask for general use, like KF94, but we don't have that today.

up
Voting closed 21

The powers that be in this country are not following science, they are following the more powerful teacher’s unions that are contributing to dropping student enrollment in their districts.

Like what is goal of all this, if not to follow the science? Drop student enrollment and what, profit?

up
Voting closed 19

Drop student enrollment and what, profit?

hint: it’s not the people who support mask mandates

up
Voting closed 11

Than the teacher’s unions. That is what happened in reality.

Yes, there are powers out there that would love to see public school enrollment drop to zero, but they are not the ones who forced schools to close for so long only in certain districts.

Don’t get fooled by a deceptive cadence.

up
Voting closed 8

No one lobbied harder to keep schools closed than the teacher’s unions. They did this to increase their collective bargaining power because that is the purpose of a union. They believed it would help them to achieve their goals. I don’t think they had the foresight to see the large enrollment drop.

https://direct.mit.edu/edfp/article-abstract/16/1/170/94965/Teachers-Uni...

The towns that had more parental control of school districts reopened earlier and their children benefited from this, further increasing education gaps with students in cities.

As for science, is the science in the EU wrong? American science is real and European science is fake?

up
Voting closed 8

What do you mean by power grabbing if there is no endgame?

EDIT: The comment below this you are saying this has further exacerbated existing problems at schools, dropping fund and enrollment to the point where schoools will close.

which contributed to a drop in enrollment that will lead to a drop in school funding, further exacerbating existing problems that have already increased due to the closing of only certain schools for so long.

https://universalhub.com/comment/893798#comment-893798

Again, whats the endgame here? What good would closing schools do for a power grabbing teachers union in your world?

Maybe you've got some URL queued up for that too?

up
Voting closed 13

Is an endgame in itself. There’s no deflection. The purpose of a union is to always be maintaining or gaining power for it’s members, often times in these cases at detrimental costs to the students who are most in need.

I also mentioned that they didn’t have the foresight to see the drop in enrollment or perhaps thought it would not be so severe.

I have no queued URL’s. A simple google search with an open mind to look at all sides of an issue is all that is needed. Here you go:

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/us-cdc-recom...

“School reopenings have caused labor disputes between teachers unions, who fear for their members’ safety, and school districts in major U.S. cities. In Chicago this week, the teachers union and district reached agreement on a safety plan after months of negotiations that included threats of a strike.”

“Elementary school students should learn in-person at least part-time even in areas of high transmission, the guidance says.
Recent studies have shown that in-person learning has not been associated with increased community transmission, especially in elementary schools.”

The unions willfully denied science for their own gains.

https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/lawmakers-press-cdc-about-teacher...

“ GOP senators pressed the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tuesday about reports that a national teachers’ union had input on the agency’s guidance on school reopenings.
Officials with the American Federation of Teachers suggested changes to a draft of the recommendations, the New York Post recently reported.”

They also tried to change science guidelines decided by scientists and doctors. What other group could get away with attempting such a thing?

There are many factors in play as to why they went about it all the way they did but it comes down to gaining more power for future negotiations, getting the things denied in past negotiations, and above all else, money. It had nothing to do with student safety or what is in the best interest of children. That is a farce.

“To be sure, the national teachers’ unions haven’t always been pleased with the CDC’s recommendations on COVID-19 and schools.
Both the AFT and the National Education Association issued terse initial statements after the agency revised its social distancing recommendations from 6 feet of space between students down to 3 feet, with appropriate precautions. Weingarten later said she came to support the change.”

Again they denied the scientific consensus only to later come around.

The teacher’s unions across the country wielded a heavy hand in helping to get Biden elected, to the point where they directly emailed parents telling them to vote for Biden and other candidates or the pandemic will never end and your kids will always be in danger. They have absolutely influenced the decisions of both the Biden administration and the CDC. The people that speak for Biden eventually started to resist the push to keep schools closed in public statements. It’s all documented.

Here is a link to the BTU newsletter in October 2020 telling people what candidates to vote for because they are more likely get what they want in negotiations:

https://btu.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/BTU-2020-October-fo-the-websi...

And here is a link explaining how all this nonsense hurts students with special needs and higher learners the most:

https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ795878.pdf

“ Returning to the question posed in the title—have unions been a help or a hindrance to student achievement?—average students appear not to have been harmed by attending union schools. If anything, the performance of average students on standardized tests is slightly higher, but below- and above-average students fare worse. Still, the overall increase in productivity does not offset the higher costs of unionized districts. Furthermore, teachers unions reduce the discretion of ad- ministrators, impose rigid standards, and re- allocate school expenditures toward higher compensation and greater employment and away from resources for specialized and enhanced instruction.”

up
Voting closed 8

Again I will ask, to what benefit does closing schools/losing funding do for a supposed power grabbing entity like the big evil teachers unions?

Lotta good all that money and power does when it collapses the system it supposedly is working to undermine, no?

The endless word salads and quotes/links really just a Gish gallop.

up
Voting closed 11

They did not have the foresight to realize how much student enrollment would drop based on their decisions to lobby to keep schools closed for so long.

What don’t you understand about that sentence?

Yes, your sarcasm is actually correct. They undermined the system built to support students to help achieve gains for themselves. They did end up getting more temporary funding but still shot themselves in the foot regarding longer term funding. It’s possible they expected the drop in enrollment and it was outweighed by getting as much guaranteed money in the short term, as opposed to planning for hypothetical situations in the future.

This should not be surprising. Many entities like unions, corporations, small businesses, governments, etc. that deal in negotiations do not have the foresight for long term budget planning and go for the quickest cash grab they can get. This is what you witnessed with the teacher’s unions lobbying to keep schools closed because they were deemed unsafe and more money was needed to fix the problems both in education and the buildings themselves.

https://www.chalkbeat.org/2022/3/9/22969172/title-i-biden-budget-deal?_a...

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/17/us/public-schools-falling-enrollment....

Call it whatever you want, an endless game or something with no endgame. It’s power grabbing and I guess you don’t see it or are willfully choosing not to acknowledge its existence.

Here’s more:

https://sunlightpolicynj.org/the-evidence-is-mounting-teachers-unions-dr...

https://www.aier.org/article/the-teachers-unions-are-keeping-the-schools...

You are choosing to stay blind to the evidence and can only respond by saying things you don’t like are word salads, regardless of who writes them.

up
Voting closed 6

You are choosing to stay blind to the evidence and can only respond by saying things you don’t like are word salads, regardless of who writes them.

My friend, your comments are almost entirely links and quotes from articles with a sprinkling of your own thoughts. You really paint an odd conspiracy theory that teachers are both grabbing for power but seeking to dismantle the system that brings them power.

In fact I think many of the articles you quote are quoting one another is this sort of circular confirmation bias web of disinformation.

Since we're sharing links, give these a read through. And I speak here with complete self-awareness; kindly hold your barbs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalkbeat

The organization's funding model has led to criticism from those who see a conflict of interest and feel that Chalkbeat is too focused on "a reform-minded policy community". Chalkbeat says that it has editorial independence and that its coverage of reforms is not always positive.[6]

https://www.cjr.org/united_states_project/chalkbeat_education_news_local...

“One of the weaknesses that I’ve seen and that other people have seen is that there are certain sources that they go to repeatedly, and others that they leave out,” said Leonie Haimson, a parent advocate and executive director of Class Size Matters, a nonprofit group that advocates for smaller class sizes in NYC schools. “They’re less good at searching out grassroots groups and parents.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Institute_for_Economic_Research

The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) is a libertarian think tank

Says all you need to know about that.

Defense of Freedom Institute?
Yikes, that naming is a little too on the nose as they would say.

up
Voting closed 9

..developing the next generation and giving them everything they need to be healthy and competent adults?

I'd say them learning about science and the place of public health is a pretty vital part of their development towards being competent adults. Goodness knows there are plenty of incompetent adults running around now that could use those lessons themselves.

Your weird bone to pick with the "powerful teachers' unions" (HA HA) is irrelevant.

up
Voting closed 12

So are the kids in Europe learning poor science?

Is proper education not part of public health?

I have a bone to pick with the teacher’s unions because it was their choice to close the schools for so long, particularly in areas where students are in the most need of assistance. Many people who had the means enrolled their kids elsewhere or moved to another school district, which contributed to a drop in enrollment that will lead to a drop in school funding, further exacerbating existing problems that have already increased due to the closing of only certain schools for so long.

up
Voting closed 8

If you read about the judge in Tampa who rescinded the mask mandate on travel you'd know that it is a legal joke that will get tossed in higher courts.

The background is that she's a Trump appointee who had been an attorney for only seven years when she got the seat and was deemed unqualified by independent organizations that rate judges & potential judges. Her decision, according to most legal analyses I've seen, is an utter joke. It reeks of working backwards from a predetermined outcome and to reach that goal, plus it defines language in the relative statute so narrowly to reach that goal that the CDC would effectively be powerless to do anything in the name of public health as an agency if it stands.

up
Voting closed 24

Unfortunately, it’s because the BPD is in cahoots with these wackjobs…They refused to arrest Vitale and Efendi when they pulled the same thing at the Boston Public Library. Their union is also the union that took Wu to court because she mandated that City Employees get vaccinated. The police are never going to help, not even when the safety and wellbeing of our kids is on the line, because they’re a bunch of antimask antivaxxers themselves. It’s disgusting. Our kids deserve a safe environment to go to school, where they don’t have to deal with loons like Vitale holding these insane demonstrations. I’m so tired of hearing about her exploiting children for her own right-wing agenda. It’s incessant.

up
Voting closed 14

Just heard on the police scanner. The Maskholes, 4 adults and 2 children, are back at the Kenny.

up
Voting closed 8

so the fool returns to her folly.

Guess who's protesting in front of the Kenny School this morning?

up
Voting closed 23

Vitale sure does love forcing her way into stuff.

https://www.dotnews.com/2022/dot-woman-charged-assaulting-bpd-officer-ci...

Doesn't she understand that city buildings aren't properly informed and did not consent to her injecting herself into them?

up
Voting closed 9

If you do something so egregious that school administrators feel it necessary to lockdown the school...how does that not equate to something criminal on some level?

up
Voting closed 14

We can arrest people for trespassing, loitering, disorderly, etc. for being in a park or a business while not white, but we can’t do anything about people actually going somewhere for the expressed purpose of being obnoxious and threatening?

up
Voting closed 12

Does Vitale have a job or is she living off the government? I can think of quite a few places that need staff to show up early and be loud and proud.

up
Voting closed 8

She's going to split the crank vote with Donnie 'Punchy' Palmer against Ayanna Pressley.

up
Voting closed 9

She does not have a job.

If she can travel around and protest all over the city and state for that matter she most certainly can work even if it is part time.

I hope the state investigates her.

up
Voting closed 8