LETTER TO THE EDITOR: An open letter to Guilford County Schools 

In this May 18, 2021 file photo, fifth graders wear face masks are seated at proper social distancing spacing during a music class at the Milton Elementary School in Rye, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Dear Dr. Contreras and the Guilford County Schools Board of Education,  

For months, we have pleaded through emails, letters and in public comments at the school board meetings to end the compulsory masking of our children. We have informed you of the risks of prolonged use of face coverings on our children, who are wearing masks 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.  

We have given you facts and studies that masks are ineffective for airborne viruses and can cause more harm than good. You have declined religious exemptions and you have made it extremely difficult to get a medical exemption. Within our parent communities, we have heard horror stories of our precious children who are suffering due to prolonged face coverings; headaches due to loss of oxygen, breathing and asthmatic issues, mouth/face lesions, dental issues, and mental health declines of self-harm and suicidal contemplations.  

But you failed to listen. 

In July of 2021, the school board voted to make it mandatory to test “unvaccinated” students who participate in sports and extra-curricular activities. By your own words on the Covid-19 Consent Form, any unvaccinated student who does not consent to the testing will “forfeit the privilege to participate in sports or other select activities sponsored by the school and/or Guilford County Schools.”  

Coercion by loss of privileges is not consent. The covid tests are still under Emergency Use Authorization and have issues with false positive and false negative results. It was reported that PCR tests cannot differentiate between the flu and covid. We asked you to cease and desist the discriminatory testing requirement on unvaccinated student athletes.  

But you failed to listen.  

The testing of unvaccinated student athletes began in January in our schools. We immediately emailed you to inform you of the multiple problems with the testing procedures to include but not limited to the following:  

  • Student athletes are being discriminated. Studies have shown that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can get and spread the covid virus. But GCS is only testing the unvaccinated student athletes.
  • Student athletes’ medical privacy is being violated. Students are being called out during class to report to a “testing room” in which multiple students are waiting. This process identifies the student as “unvaccinated” to their classroom peers and teachers. This is a clear violation of FERPA.
  • Student athletes are missing important instructional time, taking up to 45 minutes, because testing is being facilitated during normal school hours.
  • And most importantly, student athletes are experiencing additional stress and anxiety, making them feel segregated and unworthy.

But you failed to listen.   

Instead of halting the testing program immediately, at the most recent board meeting you voted to continue the testing program despite these damaging issues.  

You have turned our schools into medical facilities by having testing centers and vaccine clinics onsite. Parents throughout Guilford County are aware that in early August, a student who was to be tested for covid at Northwest High School instead got inoculated with the EUA covid vaccine without informed consent and without parental consent. Parents are rightfully concerned about medical malpractice and any possible injuries as a result of the tests and/or an adverse reaction such as myocarditis or death from the vaccine.  

But you failed to listen.  

You are not our medical providers. However, you are treating our children as if they are your patients, mandating face coverings without parental consent. Even if you were our medical provider, according to the Patient’s Bill of Rights, we have the right to refuse any medical treatment including compulsory face coverings.  

Parents are aware of the conditions tied to the $300 million dollars in ESSER funds that were awarded to GCS. These conditions include strict mask policies, quarantine, tracing and tracking, vaccine clinics on school grounds and testing requirements. In essence, you took money from the federal government in exchange to mask our children, test them, trace them, quarantine them, and coerce vaccination on them.  

You sold out our children.   

You signed an Oath of Office to uphold the U.S. Constitution and the North Carolina Constitution. However, you have violated your oath by striping our children of their constitutional rights and used our children as pawns in your efforts to receive ESSER funds.  

Because you have failed to listen, Guilford County residents intend to file individual claims for the physical and mental-emotional injuries you have caused our children due to your unconstitutional policies and inequitable, discriminatory requirements.   

As tax-paying residents of Guilford County, you needed to listen to us. But you didn’t. 

This letter was submitted by a group of Guilford County parents