I went to certainly one of these faculties, the Horace Mann School, within the Bronx. The campus has reconfigured lecture rooms, laboratories, libraries, and eating halls for social distancing, arrange tents for outside courses, and requires all college students to finish a day by 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 assessment 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 along with his brothers and hosted a fundraiser for Trump in 2016, and held a particular “thank you” event for mega-donors at his Palm Seaside residence 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 Ok-12 faculties, no matter vaccination standing.
“We received’t return,” Trump wrote along 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 People realized tips on how to safely and responsibly stay and battle 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 youngsters 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 college districts that impose masks mandates?
The varsity issued a 30-page student COVID-19 handbook, which states, “Face coverings are an integral half in lowering the danger of COVID-19 throughout college” (pages 24-27). It requires that masks should be worn indoors always ,with a number of exceptions (taking part in an instrument), on college buses, and outdoor—when college students are lower than six ft from one another.
There are additionally penalties for infractions. A pupil who comes to high school and not using a face overlaying can be given a paper masks for the day and “obtain training in regards to the significance of face coverings for the protection” of your complete Oxbridge group. For a second infraction, a pupil can be despatched residence instantly and required to take courses just about for the day. Repeated violations can be considered “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 varsity 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 best way, The Palm Beach Post reported that Oxbridge was closed Friday, because the state Well being Division performed an “epidemiological investigation.” No additional particulars have been supplied.
Now let’s take a look at an much more elite non-public college: 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 have been college students on the boarding college, and no less than certainly one 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 each one college students, school, 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 each one guests to the campus should be vaccinated, with out exception. Members of the family should present proof of vaccination to return to campus. Siblings or pals underneath the age of 12 are barred from visiting the campus. Even visiting sports activities groups should 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 select between getting vaccinated or being denied an training.
”If the authorities are permitted to regulate a well being care choice this intimate, if they will drive you and your kids to take a vaccine you do not need and are afraid of, then what cannot they do? Nothing.
“They’ll have whole energy over your physique and your thoughts perpetually. What is the restrict to their energy? There is not one.
I ponder 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 non-public faculties in terms of COVID-19 insurance policies. Listed here are another examples among the many highest-ranked and most unique non-public faculties.
Phillips Academy, in Andover, Massachusetts: Vaccine and indoor masks mandate, all college students examined twice per week. College students who should not 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 places.
Groton Faculty, in Groton, Massachusetts: Vaccine and indoor masks mandate, weekly testing, all guests to campus should be absolutely vaccinated and put on masks indoors.
Phillips Exeter Academy, in Exeter, New Hampshire: Vaccine mandate, mask-use elective, 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 performing to ban public college districts from introducing masks mandates, St. Mark’s determined to enact a masks mandate.
The headmaster wrote:
“We’ve got all adopted the shifting panorama in current days concerning tips on how to deal with the quickly deteriorating well being situations in our space, most of which we had hoped have been within the rear-view mirror.
“The most important 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 workers and practically 75% of our boys in grades 7-12 (which is two-thirds of our whole pupil physique) are vaccinated. …
“In current weeks there was an alarming uptick within the quantity and severity of pediatric circumstances, together with in North Texas. In conversations with UT Southwestern and Kids’s Medical Heart this week, we’ve realized how a lot strain our pediatric care services are at present going through, which impacts not solely dangers related to the pandemic, but additionally different pediatric emergencies or essential care wants that emerge throughout this tenuous time.
“Thus, we’ve got made the choice to open the varsity 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 retailers like Fox Information—are working to stop public faculties from imposing vaccine and even masks mandates to guard kids, the nation’s elite non-public faculties tasked with educating most of the proper’s most vocal leaders see these mandates as completely mandatory.