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  • Erin DiMaggio


Updated: Mar 9, 2022

Almost two weeks ago, on February 23, 2022, approximately forty parents and members of the Palos Verdes Community showed up to speak out against the policies of mandating that students wear masks at school. Nineteen people spoke, and though concerned parents came from a wide variety of beliefs, the common denominator was a demand for choice. And, now we have been granted permission by the overreaching elected officials to go maskless at inside establishments and show our nostrils and teeth.

If you showed up for that meeting, then take a moment to celebrate the power of your presence, intention, and words. Shortly after, Superintendent Cherniss drafted a letter advocating for the county to align with the State regarding lifting the mask mandates for all.

On March 2, 2022, Superintendent Cherniss sent out a District-Wide email announcing the mask mandate will lift on March 12, 2022, for everyone regardless of Vaccine Status.

And then on March 4, 2022, we received A Message from Board President Linda Reid:

With regard to optional masking, I wanted to make a request of parents, students and staff. Please continue to respect the choices of others with regard to optional masking. Some students and staff may feel more comfortable continuing to wear masks indoors and/or outdoors. Some may not feel the need. This choice may not align with your choice, but PVPUSD will not tolerate any behavior ranging from bullying to even comments about the mask choices of another person. For me personally, I will wear a mask in days leading up to a visit with my mom, or my children, none of whom can afford to get COVID. I will then test at home, and feel comfortable being around them. Others may make different choices, in consultation with their doctors or family. I am so glad we are at the point where a choice is an option!

Perhaps, Linda is confused after two years of media induced trauma so let's remember, "A choice is always an option in America." When it is in Linda Reid's best interest, she will not tolerate bullying but not once did she speak up to defend the kids who were being harassed for pulling down their masks to take a deep breath at school.

We won't forget that Linda Reid, Rick Phillips, and everyone on the Board with the exception of Matt Brach, refused to even sit in the same room with us because we chose to take off our masks.

On August 11, 2021, our PVPUSD children showed up at the School Board Meeting to share heart-wrenching stories of friends passing out in front of them because they couldn't get in enough air with the masks covering their noses.

Parents begged and pleaded to have a choice to unmask. Save PV Schools, LLC filed Lawsuits to get a Court Order for a choice.


We must heed the warnings of the philosopher, George Santayana, for he said,

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

While School Board President Linda Reid and Board Member Richard Phillips may be suffering from Trauma-Induced Amnesia, we will not let them forget how they treated everyone who wanted a choice to unmask, to not take tests and to not get vaccinated.

Let us take a brief trip down memory lane.

Just as we were getting ready to take a long-awaited Holiday, on December 20, 2021, School Board President Linda Reid sent out an email stating,

I implore all of our families to vaccinate their children, and to get booster shots when eligible. Quoting from a college philosophy professor in the NY Times on the ethics of vaccine exemption, "People who say that they should be exempt without cost are refusing to take their responsibility to the rest of us seriously: They can hardly expect us to burden ourselves for their sakes if they aren't inclined to reciprocate." If you are around other people over the holiday break, regardless of your vaccination status, you have a duty to our community to be COVID tested before returning to school on January 3.

Meanwhile, Peninsula Magazine published pictures of Superintendent Alex Cherniss and Richard Phillips's wife hanging out maskless with their arms around each other at a Holiday Party while young kids sat in a corner wearing masks and playing the violin.

Top Left: Richard Phillips Wife, Top Right: Superintendent Cherniss, and Bottom Right: Board Member Linda Reid

The truth remains:

The COVID-19 vaccine neither blocks the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus or prevents infection. Despite witnessing friends, family, politicians, and celebrities getting the vaccine and then getting COVID-19, the American Medical Association can't even let go of their plan to vaccinate everyone regardless of the need for the vaccine or a long list of potential side effects.

According to the American Medical Association's latest statement, "Vaccines work; they effectively prevent severe COVID, hospitalization, and death." There's something else that works to prevent severe COVID, and it is called the Immune System, and kids have one!

Kids are primarily asymptomatic, and 99.998% of the time, their immune system effectively prevented hospitalization and death. There is no reason to continue testing and trying to force shots in everyone's arms. It should ALWAYS HAVE BEEN A CHOICE.