I went to one in every of these faculties, the Horace Mann School, within the Bronx. The campus has reconfigured school rooms, laboratories, libraries, and eating halls for social distancing, arrange tents for outside courses, and requires all college students to finish a every day symptom-check type. My alma mater has indoor masks and vaccination mandates for all eligible college students and employees, and any requests for spiritual or medical exemptions are topic to evaluation by a particular committee.
Oxbridge was established in 2011 by billionaire Invoice Koch, a businessman, yachtsman, and collector. The political advocacy network founded by Charles and David Koch didn’t donate to Trump’s campaigns in 2016 and 2020, however Invoice Koch broke together with his brothers and hosted a fundraiser for Trump in 2016, and held a particular “thank you” event for mega-donors at his Palm Seashore dwelling in 2020, which was attended by Jared Kushner.
On July 27, Donald Trump blasted the Biden administration after the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) advisable indoor masks mandates for all Okay-12 faculties, no matter vaccination standing.
“We received’t return,” Trump wrote together with his signature abuse of capitalization. “We won’t mask our children. Joe Biden and his Administration realized nothing from the final 12 months. Courageous Individuals realized the way to safely and responsibly stay and struggle again. Don’t give up to COVID,” he added. “Don’t return! Why do Democrats mistrust the science? Don’t let this occur to our kids or our Nation.”
So what’s Oxbridge Academy’s masks coverage—in a state the place Gov. Ron DeSantis has tried to dam funding for public faculty districts that impose masks mandates?
The college issued a 30-page student COVID-19 handbook, which states, “Face coverings are an integral half in lowering the chance of COVID-19 throughout faculty” (pages 24-27). It requires that masks have to be worn indoors always ,with a couple of exceptions (taking part in an instrument), on faculty buses, and open air—when college students are lower than six ft from one another.
There are additionally penalties for infractions. A scholar who comes to highschool with out a face masking shall be given a paper masks for the day and “obtain schooling in regards to the significance of face coverings for the protection” of your entire Oxbridge group. For a second infraction, a scholar shall be despatched dwelling instantly and required to take courses just about for the day. Repeated violations shall be thought to be “disruptive habits with applicable disciplinary penalties.”
Now right here’s my favourite a part of the handbook, particularly given the disruptive habits of MAGAts concerning COVID-19 mandates: The college is not going to tolerate “any bullying or harassment associated to COVID-19, together with the origin of the virus, vaccination standing, and use of face masks.”
By the way in which, The Palm Beach Post reported that Oxbridge was closed Friday, because the state Well being Division performed an “epidemiological investigation.” No additional particulars had been supplied.
Now let’s take a look at an much more elite personal faculty: St. George’s Faculty, whose notable alumni embody a number of Astors and Bushes, a Vanderbilt, former Rhode Island Sen. Claiborne Pell, and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean. Its alumni additionally embody Tucker Carlson. He met his future spouse, Susan Andrews, the headmaster’s daughter, whereas each had been college students on the boarding faculty, and at the very least one in every of his 4 kids attended St. George’s.
St. George’s has a mask-optional coverage. However that’s solely as a result of the school has one of the strictest vaccine mandates anywhere. St. George’s requires that every one college students, college, employees, and eligible campus residents (over the age of 12) be absolutely vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 (besides the place medical or spiritual exemptions apply). The spiritual exemption solely applies to college students with beforehand documented spiritual exemptions.
These college students granted exemptions have to put on masks, and should chorus from taking part on any sports activities groups or internet hosting any off-campus guests.
What’s extra, St. George’s requires that every one guests to the campus have to be vaccinated, with out exception. Relations should present proof of vaccination to come back to campus. Siblings or pals below the age of 12 are barred from visiting the campus. Even visiting sports activities groups have to be absolutely vaccinated to compete on the St. George campus. Moreover, all guests to campus should put on a masks indoors.
Carlson was quick to condemn colleges for requiring college students to get vaccinated earlier than returning to campus. In Might, he accused Joe Biden and different Democrats of forcing faculty college students to choose between getting vaccinated or being denied an schooling.
”If the authorities are permitted to regulate a well being care determination this intimate, if they will power you and your kids to take a vaccine you do not need and are afraid of, then what cannot they do? Nothing.
“They are going to have whole energy over your physique and your thoughts perpetually. What is the restrict to their energy? There is not one.
I’m wondering if Tucker ever publicly denounced St. George’s for its strict vaccine coverage. Oxbridge and St. George’s are typical of the nation’s elite personal faculties in relation to COVID-19 insurance policies. Listed below are another examples among the many highest-ranked and most unique personal faculties.
Phillips Academy, in Andover, Massachusetts: Vaccine and indoor masks mandate, all college students examined twice every week. College students who will not be absolutely vaccinated could not depart campus.
The Hotchkiss Faculty, in Lakeville, Connecticut: Vaccine and indoor masks mandate, weekly testing required for any unvaccinated college students, testing required for college kids who go off campus for weekends. Guests are restricted to outside areas.
Groton Faculty, in Groton, Massachusetts: Vaccine and indoor masks mandate, weekly testing, all guests to campus have to be absolutely vaccinated and put on masks indoors.
Phillips Exeter Academy, in Exeter, New Hampshire: Vaccine mandate, mask-use non-compulsory, twice weekly testing for unvaccinated or partly vaccinated college students.
St. Mark’s Faculty, in Dallas, Texas: Indoor masks mandate.
On Aug. 13, St. Mark’s headmaster David W. Dini despatched out a community update message to college students and fogeys. Whereas Texas’ governor was appearing to ban public faculty districts from introducing masks mandates, St. Mark’s determined to enact a masks mandate.
The headmaster wrote:
“We have now all adopted the shifting panorama in current days concerning the way to deal with the quickly deteriorating well being situations in our space, most of which we had hoped had been within the rear-view mirror.
“The main query we’ve been wrestling with over the previous few weeks is how to answer the steerage associated to masking on campus. We’re grateful that greater than 95% of our 250 staff and almost 75% of our boys in grades 7-12 (which is two-thirds of our whole scholar physique) are vaccinated. …
“In current weeks there was an alarming uptick within the quantity and severity of pediatric instances, together with in North Texas. In conversations with UT Southwestern and Youngsters’s Medical Middle this week, we’ve realized how a lot strain our pediatric care amenities are at present dealing with, which impacts not solely dangers related to the pandemic, but in addition different pediatric emergencies or vital care wants that emerge throughout this tenuous time.
“Thus, we’ve made the choice to open the college 12 months with indoor masking for all college students and adults on campus, together with academics, skilled employees, dad and mom, and guests.”
So whereas many Republican governors—aided by right-wing media shops like Fox Information—are working to forestall public faculties from imposing vaccine and even masks mandates to guard kids, the nation’s elite personal faculties tasked with educating lots of the proper’s most vocal leaders see these mandates as completely needed.