California school district retracts ‘blood draw’ language in Covid consent form after parent backlash

After immediate opposition from parents, a California school district has removed language that mentioned blood testing children for COVID-19. The question is, was it an “oversight” or another attempt at more government control?

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District sent an email to parents on Sunday night asking them to sign a consent form over the proposed testing, regardless of vaccination status. More specifically, the form listed blood draws as a means for testing, which understandably drew fire from parents who demanded the blood draw language be removed.

The original form read: “I authorize this COVID-19 testing unit to conduct collection and testing for COVID-19 through a saliva collection, nasopharyngeal swab, anterior nares swab or blood draw, as ordered by an authorized medical provider or public health official.”

A supplemental message from Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati added that “if a student refuses testing, the student will be sent home and will not be permitted until school authorities are satisfied that any contagious or infectious disease does not exist.”

Parents immediately targeted the blood draw language of the consent form, posting screenshots of the original document all over social media. One of those parents was Dr. Houman David Hemmati. He told Fox News that by Monday morning, the “blood draw” option had been removed by the district, oddly without any comment.

(Video: Fox News)

The upshot of his interview was that if kids are staying home, they are also out in the community among random people rather than a stable cohort of the same people every day. They are more likely to contract COVID outside of school, so effectively there is no pathway back to in-person learning, as medical sense and common sense continue to be supplanted by irrational fear among teachers’ unions and administrators.

“Local school boards are trying to act like mini public health departments, going far beyond federal, state, and even county health mandates to conduct mandatory asymptomatic testing and other requirements that are not supported by the clinical evidence or any governmental mandates,” Hemmati told Fox News. “There is a real concern that going on a massive fishing expedition searching for positive cases among a sea of asymptomatic school kids and faculty will lead to unnecessary panic and academic disruptions”

Reopen California Schools, an online group that advocates for the return to full in-person learning, was the first to bring the consent form to the attention of Fox News.

The Santa Monica school district then claimed that the language never applied to the district and that they had no plans to use blood draws for testing children. “The language was removed as soon as we became aware of concerns over the language included, provided by our testing partners,” SMMUSD Communications and Public Relations Officer Gail Pinsker told Fold News.

“Everything we communicated to parents about our testing is accurate – utilizing a shallow nasal swab, that parents support using. Unfortunately, blood draw was in the consent form. This was an oversight and now fixed.”

They also claimed they were using two different providers for their planned COVID testing. One uses blood draws, one does not. Naturally, the guidance their district and countless others rely on changes every hour.

SMUUSD began the new school year on Aug. 19 and plans to implement COVID testing on Aug. 25. A school board meeting is planned for Monday evening. California has been staying in the news for a while now, with the most recent cause celebre the San Diego Board of Supervisors meeting that drew over 170 speakers in enthusiastic protest over a possible county-wide vaccine mandate.

Frank Webster

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