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  • Writer's pictureErin DiMaggio

Censorship At The School Board Meeting On August 11, 2021

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

On August 11, 2021, concerned parents showed up at the School Board Meeting to express their feelings and facts about the risks of masking our children. Rather than listening to the concerned parents, Board Members Richard Phillips, Megan Crawford, Ami Gandhi, and Linda Reid refused to do their job and listen to their constituents.

They walked out on them, and to add insult to injury, they spun the narrative to depict the Palos Verdes Parents as outsiders from other communities, misinformation spreaders, and violent.

The truth is, The Superintendent, Dr. Chernisse, stayed back to listen to us. To force a person to wear a mask when the mask violates their religious belief that the breath is given to them by God and should not be tampered with is akin to forcing a Muslim woman to remove her veil. This type of discrimination, retaliation, and control of an individual's bodily autonomy are intolerable.

Later, in what appeared to be an attempt to avoid personal criticisms from angry parents and The Palos Verdes Teachers' Association and other stakeholders for his decision to stay back and listen to us; Superintendent, Alex Cherniss, sent out an email to the entire community leading people to believe he only stayed back to avoid violence. He wrote, "To protect the safety of our staff and in consultation with the PV Police Department, I allowed the group to enter the building to avoid any potential physical altercations."

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