Photo: McCallie School Campus on Missionary Ridge
Photo Credit: Lawrence G. Miller / CC
Published May 19, 2021
The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
Chattanooga, TN – Many parents of boys attending McCallie School feel like their children were bribed to get a COVID-19 vaccination without parental notice or consent.
Parents are also concerned that their children will be ostracized by being forced to wear masks at school if they don’t take the vaccine.
According to anonymous sources that reached out to The Tennessee Conservative, the school bribed students promising that if 500 boys have been vaccinated by Friday, students could opt to not take ONE of their final exams or wear masks if they agreed to receive the vaccination.
Parents fear that children who choose not to take the vaccine will be isolated and branded with a “scarlet letter mask.”
One parent stated that he is having difficulty connecting this posture of coercion, manipulation and acting out of fear, to McCallie’s stated moto of “Honor Truth Duty.”
On Sunday, the school had a graduation ceremony and did not require masks, yet current students are still required to wear masks while at school.
One of our sources alleges that, “The majority of moms are furious the boys were bribed in chapel today without notifying parents of new mandate. How can an academic college prep school waive exams for a vaccine card? I bet Baylor will come out tomorrow saying they do not require vaccines.”
When the school headmaster was asked about this issue, he chose to not answer the question directly.
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The all-boys college-preparatory school, located on Missionary Ridge, announced on Monday that all eligible students, faculty and staff will be required to get the COVID vaccine for the 2021-2022 school year.
McCallie School Headmaster, A. Lee Burns III states that if a student comes to class who has not received the vaccine, “he will have to wear a mask (depending on health department guidelines). Our goal is to get of the masks. Our curriculum is based on interaction…and the masks have been a real hinderance to that.”
A concerned parent tells us that the problem is that it is too late for parents to get a refund on tuition for Fall applicants to McCallie, even though they are changing their policy from what parents agreed upon when they applied.
Burns states that the new protocols will enable to the school to “move significantly toward a return to a more normal campus experience.”
Burns states that requiring COVID vaccines is “a logical, socially-responsible extension of our general student health policy.”
However, a concerned parent says, “As a parent of two McCallie graduates I was alarmed to see the video published today by the headmaster requiring all students to be vaccinated. The vaccine is not 100% effective per the CDC. People who are vaccinated can still carry the virus asymptomatically after vaccination.”
Parents are also concerned about the potential side effects of the vaccine.
“I have a friend that was hospitalized two weeks ago that received her second dose of Moderna. She developed two blood clots in legs that went to her lungs and developed a heart issue. Many hospital staff told her they have seen major side effects from the vaccines. That has not been reported in the news. The research is still so new, they may not know side effects for years.”
Further, parents have questions that McCallie School have not yet addressed.
“Will McCallie not be playing against other schools that do not require the vaccine? They use our locker rooms and other facilities. Are they going to require everyone on campus to have the vaccine such as family members, vendors, visitors, workers not employed by the school directly, every opposing team on campus?”
“Where is the freedom to choose based on your family’s decision and research from scientists and doctors that oppose vaccine use?”
The McCallie School has 938 students in total from grades 6 though 12 and 9 through 12 in post-graduate.
According to a report by News Channel 9, the school will allow some exemptions to the vaccine requirements.
A spokesperson from the school states that they have always allowed medical and religious exemptions to their vaccine requirements but have now added ethical and moral reasons to forego receiving the vaccine.
However, parents say that the school will still require those students that have not been vaccinated to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
“Isolating students with a beacon will only cause bullying,” a McCallie parent said.
Headmaster Burns states that, “The boys here are taught to have a sense of civility and I don’t think any of the boys will treat the other boys like second-class citizens.”
“We just want the keep the boys safe and have a healthy campus,” Burns said.