Vaccine, anti-mask parents ditch their shoes at NJ schools
Some parents are silently voicing their opposition to a potential mandate requiring children to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
Operation Shoe Drop, promoted by an anti-vaccine group called NJ For Medical Freedom, encourages parents to leave pairs of shoes in schools. The shoe will ultimately be donated to Habitat for Humanity in Newark, according to Shoe Drop spokesperson Edie Nico.
Nico said the group collected more than 400 shoes outside Middletown North High School on Sunday evening, the first of several planned protests.
More shoes were left outside schools in Berkeley Township and Central Region school districts on Tuesday. Further drops are expected Thursday for Hanes Sixth Grade Center in Medford and Saturday at Central Primary School in East Brunswick.
A silent protest
âParents have decided to place the shoes of all children deprived of their voting rights in schools as a silent and peaceful but profound statement,â Nico said. “It was not a demonstration without horns or signs, just a silent and peaceful declaration by all the children who will no longer be able to attend public school because of our governor and his discriminatory and segregationist mandates.”
Schools can send home students who do not comply with Governor Phil Murphy’s mask mandate for all students and staff in New Jersey public and private schools. Many parents who disagree with the mandate have kept their children at home and are homeschooling them. The mandate expires on January 11.
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Photos: anti-vaccine shoes protest in New Jersey schools
Operation Shoe Drop, part of the larger group called NJ For Medical Freedom, encourages parents to leave pairs of shoes in schools in pairs, which in turn will be donated to Habitat for Humanity in Newark, according to the spokesperson. by Shoe Drop, Edie Nico.
Mandates and disinformation
“We are concerned about any violation of our children, mask vaccines and inappropriate content. It is all about medical freedom,” Nico said, repeating disputed claims that masks prevent children from breathing.
California is the only state requiring children to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Murphy has repeatedly said that the implementation of a similar mandate in New Jersey remains on the table, which concerns members of NJ For Medical Freedom.
Nico called Murphy’s ‘power grab’ mask tenure who used COVID-19 to promote segregation and discrimination.
âThere is no way to separate the masks from the vaccines because they were just to conform to something irrationalâ¦ will be removed because of the vaccine’s mandate. All violation of our bodily autonomy,â said Nico.
The healthychildren.org website, which is sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, says several myths about masks continue to circulate.
â¢ Face masks made from breathable material will not prevent a child from obtaining oxygen and the vast majority of children can safely wear masks for an extended period of time.
â¢ Wearing a face mask does not affect the lung development of the child.
â¢ Face masks do not increase exposure to germs, which would increase the risk of a child getting sick; the opposite is true.
â¢ Wearing face masks correctly can reduce transmission of COVID-19
On Wednesday morning, the Middletown and Central Regional superintendents did not respond to New Jersey 101.5’s request for information.
Earlier reports by David Matthau were used in this report.
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