General Assembly to Blame for Children Suffering Irreparable Harm?

Southwell v. McKee Court Ruling Puts Onus on Lawmakers

While Children Suffer, General Assembly Does Nothing

Parents Demand House Speaker & Senate President Engage

Cranston, RI – “The court finds children are suffering … irreparable harm … physical and emotional … with potential long-term medical problems … with the mask mandate.”

These were just some of the chilling findings by Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Lanphear in his ruling this past Friday, even though he denied the parent-plaintiffs the temporary restraining order they sought to end school mask mandates in their Southwell v. McKee lawsuit.

Yet for the entirety of the pandemic, General Assembly leaders have been AWOL, allowing this harm to children, as well as considerable other economic and constitutional harms, to continue unchecked and in the shadows.

In speaking for the 34 plaintiff parents, and for all concerned parents, lead plaintiff, Richard Southwell, said, “As does every parent in this state, we are concerned with the well-being of our children. We strongly disagree with the judge’s opinion that the State’s claimed risks associated with spread among unmasked children in any way outweigh the problems our children are actually suffering. The public needs to hear what we heard in court,” continued Southwell, who, along with other parents, will be guests of Mike Stenhouse on his popular In The Dugout show at 4:00 pm today at OceanStateCurrent.com/LIVE .

In ruling against the plaintiffs, the judge essentially ruled that it is not within the purview of the court to over-rule a “political” policy that does not clearly violate a constitutional right. Such a decision, the judge wrote, is a “question left to the legislative and executive branches of government.”

“In light of these deeply troubling findings, the General Assembly no longer has the luxury of watching from the sidelines. Your direct and immediate action on this issue is required. There can be no delays. There can be no more excuses,” pleaded Southwell.

For 18 months, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity has called on the General Assembly to come out from hiding and restore more balanced governance and transparent debate during the pandemic.

In August, 32 legislators, likewise concerned, signed a letter to the Governor calling for an end to the mask mandate, while threatening legislative action if he did not, a power statutorily granted to the General Assembly. However, legislative leaders quickly shut down any follow-up mutiny and continued to refuse to show any leadership on behalf of the public they serve.

With these stunning findings of pediatric harm confirmed by the court, the suffering of Ocean State students must be addressed forthright: The Center calls upon General Assembly leaders to immediately convene hearings to determine if school mask mandates and other ’emergency executive orders’ should be contravened by concurrent resolution.

“Who is really running this state? Elected officials – the Governor, Senators, and Representatives … or unelected ideologues at the RI Department of Health,” cynically asked Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “Through their inaction, Speaker of the House Shekarchi and Senate President Ruggerio obviously do not want the responsibility of governing over pandemic related policies … but the judge was right, this is their job … and it’s high time they show some courage and get to work for the people. It is their duty to hold public hearings whereby all of the facts and issues can be openly debated. For too long, the Governor and RIDOH have ruled unchecked and without necessary public scrutiny.”

Earlier this morning in an email, Southwell invited Shekarchi and Ruggerio to meet with his parent group Wednesday evening, however, thus far, there has been no response.

Decisive evidence presented during the October trial, as well as the overwhelming body of national and international research, clearly show that there is no medical justification for masking children over prolonged periods of time. The Center maintains that this important information must be presented, debated, and assessed transparently in a public hearing that only the General Assembly can credibly hold.

Doc Skoly’s Patient Ban Indefinitely Continued after Sham Hearing

Doc Skoly Ban on Seeing Patients Indefinitely Continued

Unchecked RIDOH Power over Governor McKee Reaches Crisis Level

Dr. Skoly will conduct an exclusive interview on In The Dugout at 3:00 PM

Cranston, RI – The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) has once again exerted its power over Governor McKee when it pressured a Department of Administration (DOA) hearing officer into ruling late yesterday that the original RIDOH compliance order – that banned Dr. Stephen Skoly from providing critical care to patients – should be continued indefinitely.

The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity publicly decries the hearing officer’s ruling as more evidence of the unconstitutional, unchecked, and non-science based ‘police state’ that has seized control in the Ocean State.

Earlier this month, the RIDOH openly defied Governor McKee … after he granted extensions to workers at two hospitals regarding their compliance with Rhode Island’s healthcare worker vaccine mandate … when it slapped violation notices on the Landmark Medical Center and the state-operated Eleanor Slater Hospital as a precursor to eventual fines and patient care restrictions.

“Keeping in mind that I would never put my patients at risk, that I am as immune as any vaccinated healthcare provider, and that I have been providing emergency surgical care to patients of state-run facilities … I am highly disappointed that the Department Of Health can be so unfair in singling me out for punishment,” exclaimed Skoly, the Center’s Chairman who for decades was the sole contractor to the RIDOH to provide his specialty care. Dr. Skoly has not seen patients for six weeks and was forced to lay-off his 12 person staff, who are now collecting unemployment payments at taxpayer expense. “I am left with no option but to engage attorneys and to explore legal remedies so that I can return to providing care to my patients.”

Shortly after DOH health director Alexander-Scott issued her October 1 compliance order against him, and with it becoming increasingly obvious that wards of the state were suffering because they could not receive his care, Dr. Skoly received word that Governor McKee might consider offering him a special-circumstance extension. However, in subsequent negotiations, Alexander-Scott’s staff refused to acknowledge the Governor’s offer, which was immediately pulled from the table.

“I have learned through my sources that RIDOH officials admitted that Dr. Skoly is being made an example of because of his affiliation with our Center, which has been a frequent critic of RIDOH policies,” said Mike Stenhouse, CEO. “It should be of concern to every citizen of our state that Nicole Alexander-Scott can wield such vengeful and unjust power … and that Governor McKee appears so powerless to intercede. We have reached crisis levels of unchecked bureaucratic tyranny.”

Dr. Skoly will conduct an exclusive interview with Mike Stenhouse today at 3:00 PM EST on the popular In The Dugout show at OceanStateCurrent.com/LIVE .

After issuing its compliance order against Dr. Skoly, the RIDOH also refused to comply with the prescribed regulatory process or provide any formal hearing to consider Skoly’s unique medical exemption claim, which includes high levels of naturally acquired immunity against the Covid-19 virus.

As an oral and maxillo-facial surgeon, Dr. Skoly’s practice should be regulated by the state’s Board of Examiners in Dentistry, a legitimate and long-standing regulatory review process. However, RIDOH … recognizing the great respect Dr. Skoly has rightfully earned from this board’s members after decades of stellar service as a contractor to the State and as service provider to private patients … instead sought to bypass that process and arrange for a sham hearing that would uphold its unlawful compliance order.

In early November, there appeared to a glimmer of hope to the process when McKee’s DOA appointed a hearing officer to conduct a pre-trial conference with representatives of Dr. Skoly and the RIDOH. Meetings were held last Friday and this past Monday, where over-whelming scientific evidence supporting Skoly’s position was presented … and where the RIDOH failed to cite any statutory power it had to unilaterally shut down Dr. Skoly’s practice without proper due process.

Yet all hopes for a rational accommodation were dashed, when the hearing officer, Catherine Warren, under enormous pressure from the RIDOH, ruled late Wednesday that the compliance order against Dr. Skoly be continued, essentially arguing that in seeking to protect “public heath”, the RIDOH has the “authority” to promulgate and enforce virtually any regulation it sees fit; this is a crisis in constitutional governance.

Dr. Skoly, an oral and maxillo-facial surgeon, questions why the RIDOH refuses to recognize that his, and other healthcare workers’, naturally acquired immunity to Covid19 as a legitimate medical exemption. In late September, he made public his decision to not comply the state’s October 1 vaccination mandate for healthcare workers, a decision he based on his personal medical history as well as his principled belief in individual liberty.

Since September, the Center has publicly called for the Department of Health to include natural immunity as an allowed exemption for any Covid-19 vaccine mandate.

While the Center opposes government-imposed mask and vaccine mandates, the data clearly demonstrates that “natural immunity” is an important policy consideration; and that the existing RI DOH healthcare worker vaccine mandate, for as long as it is allowed to legally stand, must be immediately modified (as the science overwhelmingly suggests) to include “natural immunity” as an approved case for exemption.

Earlier this fall, based on analysis of state and international research data, as performed by Dr. Andrew Bostom, in support of a conclusion that has been publicly advanced by a growing host of nationally prominent immunologists, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity (Center) called on the Rhode Island Department of Health to include “natural immunity” as an allowed “contraindication to vaccination” on the official RI DOH medical exemption form.

In the Center’s policy brief published by Dr. Bostom, an adjunct medical scholar to the Center and a Brown University credentialed epidemiologist, when assessing the benefits and risks of natural immunity to Covid-19 as compared with immunity from the vaccine, Bostom joins an increasing number of medical professionals and institutions in concluding that the body’s natural immune system provides a more robust and longer lasting protection against Covid-19 than do the currently offered vaccines.

Citizens can view this week’s full compliance order and can #StandWithDocSkoly by signing a petition on the Center’s website at RIFreedom.org/DocSkoly.

Doc Skoly’s Banishment Goes National

Patients at RI DOH Facilities Suffering From Lack of Care

Providence, RI – In an exclusive national interview published today by The Daily Signal, the news operation of the prestigious Heritage Foundation, a prominent Rhode Island surgeon tells his story about how the state’s Department of Health (RI DOH) has unfairly shut down his vital practice, denying him any form of due process.

In a misguided and ironic twist, Dr. Stephen Skoly, a private-practice surgeon who for decades has provided provided top-rate emergency medical services for the RI DOH as the only contractor in is field, now sees that same DOH seeking to destroy his practice.

Dr. Skoly, a maxillo-facial and oral surgeon and chairman of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, has the tests results in-hand to prove he has developed high levels of naturally acquired immunity to Covid-19. Skoly, who weeks ago made public his decision to not comply the state’s October 1 vaccination mandate for healthcare workers, also based his decision on his personal medical history as well as his principled belief in individual liberty.

In the Daily Signal interview, Dr. Skoly describes how he has been denied a hearing or any form of due process since the RI DOH “compliance order” was issued on October 1. Also interviewed was the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse, who stressed that along multiple fronts, Ocean State health officials have failed to adequately support any of their many pandemic mandates with the requisite “science” or research data.

The Center has recently received copies of communications to RI DOH from doctors who work at state-run facilities, pleading for Dr. Skoly to be able to resume care of the state’s own wards, many of whom are now suffering from lack of critical care.

Not only is the RI DOH denying due process to Dr. Skoly, but they are also scheming to side-step the prescribed regulatory “Board of Examiners” hearing process, such that his case will eventually be heard by some specially-formed and rigged emergency panel.

In the interview, Skoly describe how, currently, the RI DOH allows only a very narrow range of conditions as viable contraindications for Covid-19 vaccinations.

In light of this compelling interview with Dr. Skoly, the Center renews its call for the Department of Health to include natural immunity as an allowed exemption for any Covid-19 vaccine mandate.

While the Center opposes government-imposed mask and vaccine mandates, the data clearly demonstrates that “natural immunity” is an important policy consideration; and that the existing RI DOH healthcare worker vaccine mandate, for as long as it is allowed to legally stand, must be immediately modified (as the science overwhelmingly suggests) to include “natural immunity” as an approved case for exemption.

Earlier this month, based on analysis of state and international research data, as performed by Dr. Andrew Bostom, in support of a conclusion that has been publicly advanced by a growing host of nationally prominent immunologists, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity (Center) called on the Rhode Island Department of Health to include “natural immunity” as an allowed “contraindication to vaccination” on the official RI DOH medical exemption form.

In the Center’s policy brief published by Dr. Bostom, an adjunct medical scholar to the Center and a Brown University credentialed epidemiologist, when assessing the benefits and risks of natural immunity to Covid-19 as compared with immunity from the vaccine, Bostom joins an increasing number of medical professionals and institutions in concluding that the body’s natural immune system provides a more robust and longer lasting protection against Covid-19 than do the currently offered vaccines.

Citizens can express their support for Doc Skoly by signing a petition on the Center’s website at RIFreedom.org/DocSkoly.

DOC SKOLY IS STANDING UP FOR ALL OF US … WILL YOU STAND WITH HIM?

Dr. Stephen Skoly, chairman of our Center, has been practicing oral surgery in Rhode Island for over three decades – and safely over the entire period of the pandemic. Now, the insiders want to shut him down. Sign the petition now!

Analysis of research data performed by Dr. Andrew Bostom Natural Immunity Should be Included as a Vaccine Exemption.

Policy Brief: Natural Immunity Should be Included as a Vaccine Exemption

Executive Summary: Analysis of state and international research data, as performed by Dr. Andrew Bostom, along with historical norms, support the conclusion that “natural immunity” should be allowed as a “contraindication to vaccination”, or exemption, to mandated vaccinations.

Bostom, an adjunct medical scholar to the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity and a Brown University credentialed epidemiologist, when assessing the benefits and risks of natural immunity to Covid-19 as compared with immunity from the vaccine, has joined an increasing number of medical professionals and institutions in concluding that the body’s natural immune system provides a more robust and longer lasting protection against Covid-19 than do the currently offered vaccines.

With thousands of vital health care professionals in Rhode Island facing termination or loss of their medical licenses if they do not comply with the non-science-based October 1 vaccine mandates imposed by the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), the Center argues that more health care services can be safely delivered if more healthcare workers are allowed in the field.

Currently, the RI DOH only allows post first-dose vaccine adverse reactions, a history of myocarditis or pericarditis heart conditions, or recent Monoclonal AntiBody Treatments as viable contraindications for Covid-19 vaccinations.

Dr. Bostom studied ample data from an Israeli Health Maintenance Organization; from a United Kingdom Healthcare worker survey; and from data supplied by the RI DOH. Bostom summarized the key findings from the published Israeli research (full text and citations below), as follows:

    • The risk of new clinical symptomatic infection is 7.0 times lower among those previously infected and who were not vaccinated, as compared to those with no prior infection, who were fully vaccinated
    • The risk of Covid-19 hospitalization is 6.7 times lower among the same cohorts describe above

Further, not only are vaccinations for those previously infected not necessary, the data indicates such vaccinations would cause increased health risks:

  • Based on the extremely low rate of transmission among the previously infected, it would take 883 vaccinations of previously infected healthcare workers to prevent just ONE new asymptomatic case among that group
    • Reactions to these 883 vaccinations would produce 80 instances of “moderate to severe symptoms”

Finally, July 2021 data supplied by the RI DOH itself appears to validate the above findings, while also suggesting that vaccinations do not reduce spread more than natural immunity:

    • 30% of new Covid-19 infections in RI were ‘breakthrough’ cases, occurring among fully vaccinated persons
    • Of the 2127 people infected in July, only 3.4% had prior infection, regardless of vaccination status
    • The same ratio (3.4%) of those infected in July, who had prior infection, were fully vaccinated

In Michigan, Western Michigan Spectrum Health is now allowing its healthcare workers to use natural immunity as a Covid-19 vaccine mandate exemption. Prominent medical professionals such as Harvard Medical School ProfessorMartin Kulldorff, Dr. Marty Makary from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Scott Atlas from Stanford University, and immunologist Dr. Hooman Noorchashm are among many esteemed experts who have also publicly expressed their views on the importance and effectiveness of natural immunity. Even Dr. Robert Malone who invented the messenger RNA vaccine method agrees that T and B cell immunity is superior to spike-based vaccines.

In conclusion, while the Center opposes government- imposed mask and vaccine mandates, the data clearly demonstrates that “natural immunity” is an important policy consideration; and that the existing RI DOH healthcare worker vaccine mandate, for as long as it is allowed to legally stand, must be immediately modified, as the science overwhelmingly suggests, to include natural immunity as an approved case for exemption.

Detailed Findings:

Mandatory Covid-19 Vaccination for Previously SARS-CoV-2 Infected Rhode Island Healthcare Workers Yields an (Unacceptable) Risk / “Benefit” Ratio of Eighty to One: A Published Evidence-Based Estimate, Confirmed by Rhode Island Department of Health July, 2021 Data

Originally published on 13th September 2021 | by Dr. Andrew Bostom

When assessing quantitatively the benefit/risk (or risk/benefit) ratio for any therapeutic intervention, two simple numerical standards are employed: the number needed to treat (NNT) to prevent a single health outcome of interest, and the number needed to harm (NNH), or each adverse event caused by the same therapy, per the number to whom it is administered (1). Both NNT and NNH are dependent on absolute risk differences between the treated and untreated comparison groups. The NNT/NNH or NNH/NNT, provide quantitative estimates of the benefit/risk, or risk/benefit ratios, respectively.

The question of whether to mandate covid-19 vaccination of previously SARS-CoV-2 infected healthcare workers can be uniquely illuminated by calculating NNT and NNH from recently published data (2,3). Moreover, as I will demonstrate, the NNT/NNH calculations from these published findings (2,3) are independently validated by Rhode Island Department of Health July, 2021 data just released August 31, 2021 (4,5).

Data from the Israeli Maccabi Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) have revealed that prior SARS- CoV-2 infection among those unvaccinated against covid-19 conferred a 7.0-fold decreased risk for new clinical, symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, and a 6.7- fold lower risk for covid-19 hospitalization, relative to those with no prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, but fully vaccinated against covid-19 (2). Although secondary analyses from this Israeli HMO cohort found, similarly, that covid-19 vaccination of previously SARS-CoV-2 infected persons did not reduce either symptomatic, clinical SARS-CoV-2 infections, or covid-19 hospitalizations, the occurrence of asymptomatic SARS- CoV-2 infections was reduced (2). This latter finding can be used to calculate the NNT for prevention of new, asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections, afforded by covid-19 vaccinating those previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, and recovered from their infection.

The NNT for asymptomatic infection prevention, using the absolute risk reductions, is calculated as follows, from the formula, NNT=1/absolute risk reduction:

37/14,029=0.0026 in the unvaccinated, previously infected, vs. 20/14,029=0.0014, in the vaccinated, previously infected. The absolute risk difference is a mere 0.0012 so 1/ 0.0012 gives a NNT of 833 to prevent 1 asymptomatic infection. (Also, the absolute risk reduction is only 0.12%; another way of expressing this vanishingly small benefit) NNH can be calculated from published United Kingdom Healthcare worker survey data comparing the reactions of those covid-19 vaccinated with and without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection (3). The proportion reporting one moderate to severe symptom was higher in the previous SARS-CoV-2 infected group (56% v 47%, OR=1.5 [95%CI, 1.1–2.0], p=.009), with fever, fatigue, myalgia-arthralgia and lymphadenopathy significantly more common. NNH is 56%-47%=9%, or 0.09, then 1/0.09=11.1. Thus, for each ~11 previously SARS-CoV-2 infected healthcare workers vaccinated, 1 developed a “moderate to severe symptom,” including “fever, fatigue, myalgia-arthralgia and lymphadenopathy (3).”

Comparing the NNT (from 2)/ NNH (from 3) ratio, 883/11, indicates that if you covid-19 vaccinated n=883 previously SARS-CoV-2 infected persons (for example, healthcare workers), ONE asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection would be prevented, while EIGHTY persons vaccinated would experience “moderate to severe symptoms,” including “fever, fatigue, myalgia- arthralgia and lymphadenopathy.

Finally, July, 2021 SARS-CoV-2 (covid-19) infection data collected by the Rhode Island Department of Health, with presentation of the findings by both vaccination, and prior infection status, provide independent validation of these NNT/NNH results (4,5). While 30% of these total (n=2127) new SARS-CoV-2 infections occurred among persons fully covid-19 vaccinated (639/2127), only 3.4% of those with a prior infection, regardless of vaccination status, were infected in July (73/2127). Fully vaccinating those with a prior covid-19 infection did not lower this percentage at all (22/639=3.4% fully vaccinated; 51/1488=3.4% not fully vaccinated).

REFERENCES:

1) Citrome L. “Show me the evidence: using number needed to treat”. South Med J. 2007; 100: 881- 4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17902287/
2) Gazit S, Shlezinger R, Perez G, Lotan R, Peretz A, Ben-Tov A, Cohen D, Muhsen K, Chodick G, Patalon T. “Comparing SARS-CoV-2 natural immunity to vaccine-induced immunity: reinfections versus breakthrough infections”. medRxiv August 24,2021. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.08.24.21262415
3) “Self-reported real-world safety and reactogenicity of COVID-19 vaccines: An international vaccine-recipient survey”. Mathioudakis AG, Ghrew M, Ustianowski A, Ahmad S, Borrow R, Papavasileiou LP, Petrakis D, Bakerly ND medRxiv, February 26, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.26.21252096
4) “Prior infection, vaccination status, and age-stratified Rhode Island Department of Health, July 2021 data on covid- 19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths sent to Sen. Delacruz and Rep. Chippendale,
8/31/21”. https://www.andrewbostom.org/2021/09/prior-infection-vaccination-status-and-age-stratified-rhode-island- department-of-health-july-2021-data-on-covid-19-infections-hospitalizations-and-deaths-sent-to-sen-delacruz-and-rep-
chippendal/
5) “Rhode Island Department of Health, July 2021, Data Reveal Prior Covid-19 Infection in the Unvaccinated (Natural Immunity)~8.5-Fold More Protective Against New Covid-19 Infections, and ~1.5-Fold More Protective Against Covid-19 Hospitalizations, Vs. Full Vaccination, Without Prior
Infection”. https://www.andrewbostom.org/2021/09/rhode-island-department-of-health-july-2021-data-reveal-prior- covid-19-infection-in-the-unvaccinated-natural-immunity8-5-fold-more-protective-against-new-covid-19-infections- and-1-5-fold-more-p/

Ramona Bessinger

EXPOSED: Whistle-blower Providence Teacher Provides Visual Proof of CRT in Schools in Detailed Interview

Ramona Bessinger Provides Shocking Proof of CRT in the Classroom

Says RI Department of Education is Behind the Push


Providence, RI – In her first in-depth video interview following multiple brief appearances on national cable news channels, Providence public school teacher Ramona Bessinger provided the visual proof, long-denied by the left, of what Critical Race Theory (CRT) actually looks like in the classroom.

Throughout her interview on In The Dugout with Mike Stenhouse, an initiative of the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, Bessinger displayed and discussed the many ways that students are being indoctrinated with inappropriate, divisive, and inaccurate curriculum materials; a curriculum, she says, is being forced upon schools by the RI Department of Education (RIDE).

After Legal Insurrection initially broke Bessinger’s story in some detail last week, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Yahoo News, and Breitbart News also provided follow-up coverage. However, the hour-plus interview by Stenhouse on his In The Dugout show provided never-before seen images of actual school curriculum and left-wing propaganda items that are inundating classrooms and hallways.

As a whistleblower whose goal as a “patriotic American” is to expose the depth of the anti-American, white-shaming agenda of the woke left that is systematically being forced upon government-run public schools, Bessinger sadly described the “tension” that has developed between herself and her beloved minority students over the past year, as well as attempted intimidation by school staff after she dared to speak out. She was recently dubbed “America” by students and “White Privilege” by colleagues.

On multiple occasions, Bessinger called out state education commissioner, Angelica Infante-Green, for being responsible not only for the influx of the dozens of new “unvetted” leaflet-style books from “unknown” authors, but more disturbingly, also for trashing the entire curriculum of proven historical and literary works by renowned figures such as Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr., and Shakespeare.

No longer to be taught are broad topics of world history such as American and British literature, the Holocaust, the World Wars, and the Harlem Renaissance … all replaced by a fusillade of narrowly focused race-based materials.

The interview also covered multiple angles of how race- and gender-equity principles have become embedded in school classrooms including: the “heartbreaking” and demeaning message of the CRT curriculum, state laws that opened the door for RIDE to impose its agenda on public schools, and the endorsement of CRT by national teacher unions, to one of which she is a dues-paying member.

The interview concluded with Bessinger providing personal messages to parents, teachers, and students.

Stenhouse has invited education commissioner Infante-Green to appear on In The Dugout to respond to the assertions and information provided by Bessinger.

Rhode Islanders are encouraged to make their voices heard against the politicization of students by visiting the Center’s Action Center at RIFreedom.org/ActionCenter.

Our kids are watching. Disgraceful CRT programs must be stopped. The GA can help end these battles by returning schools to basics.

Save our Schools: Center Calls on General Assembly to be Heroes and End Divisive School-based Race Wars

Providence, RI – In community after community, with parents, teachers, and local school committees at war with each other over K-12 curriculums, including gender and racial theories that may be taught to their children, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity calls on the General Assembly to end the divisiveness by passing unifying legislation in the upcoming special fall session.

“Whether you believe in the tenets of Critical Race Theory or not, the issue is explosively divisive and is tearing our communities apart,” commented the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse. “It is not appropriate that any concept that promotes any racial stereotype be taught to our children. State lawmakers have the chance to save our schools and be a hero by closing the door they unintentionally opened in 2019.”

The Center recommends that a version of House Bill H6070, which was heard in committee in March then tabled, be re-considered when the General Assembly reconvenes this fall. The legislation, sponsored by Representative Patricia Morgan, would prohibit the teaching of divisive concepts by requiring all contracts at the state and local level to effectively prohibit the teaching of race- or gender-based guilt.

It is the contention of the Center and many others that legislation signed into law in 2019 (S0863 sub B) gave far too much authority to the statewide RI Department of Education (RIDE) when it comes to curriculum development, thereby limiting options for local schools. With strong evidence suggesting that RIDE itself, backed by powerful teacher unions, is pushing controversial gender- and race-based theories down into local school districts, lawmakers must act boldly and decisively to nip-in-the-bud this burgeoning problem they unwittingly enabled.

Case in point: Tonight’s Westerly School Committee agenda includes consideration of a resolution, brought by the leader of a local parent group (Bob Chiaradio) and modeled after H6070, to prohibit the teaching of divisive concepts. The public debate is likely to be heated. Undoubtedly, other parent groups will bring forth similar resolutions, in response to the public division and conflict that is brewing in cities or towns across our Ocean State.

“Our kids are watching us to see what kind of example we set. The disgraceful labeling and threats must be brought to a stop,” continued Stenhouse. “The General Assembly, with one fell swoop, can help end these battles and return education to its basics; including an objective, inclusive, and truthful teaching of our proud American history.”

Rhode Islanders are encouraged to call on legislative leaders to pre-emptively diffuse tensions in schools and pass a version of H6070 … by visiting the Center’s Action Center at RIFreedom.org/ActionCenter.

STATEMENT: Unpopular TCI Gas Tax Remains on Legislative Back Burner

Rhode Island Follows Connecticut’s Lead, For now

TCI Gas Tax Scheme Stalls in the House

With gasoline prices at recent national highs, and with the Ocean State jobs market seeing the slowest recovery among all states, the Rhode Island House of Representatives wisely kept the TCI Gas Tax on the back burner, before recessing last evening from their regular 2021 legislative session.

Last month, the State of Connecticut said “no” to the TCI Gas Tax, killing the regional gas tax idea in the Nutmeg State. With the Rhode Island General Assembly also saying no for now, Massachusetts is the only state among the original 14 states still considering this costly, job-killing gas tax scheme.

“Ocean State House leaders apparently understand that as our state struggles to recover, economically, from the pandemic … now is not the time to impose new taxes at the pump. It would be cruel for lawmakers to impose this fuel tax, which will especially harm rural and low-income residents, just so the elite can receive a subsidy for their expensive electric vehicles,” stated Mike Stenhouse, the Center’s CEO. “Motorists must remain vigilant and demand that the House not follow the Senate’s lead, by considering this destructive legislation in the upcoming special fall session of the General Assembly.”

Motorists are encouraged to take action and to continue to tell lawmakers to say no to the the TCI Gas Tax here.

Such a highly highly regressive gas tax, and the projected $1200 per family cost, according to research and a poll conducted by the Center, are highly unpopular among the public. A petition opposing TCI has already generated about 15,000 emails to state lawmakers.

In March, the Center unilaterally called on McKee to withdraw from TCI, however the issue remains open in the General Assembly. A May open letter to the Governor by the Center, listing 12 coalition signatories and a range of reasons not to join the TCI compact, can be found on the Center’s website, here.

Center Calls for Suspension of “Indiscriminate” High School Vaccine Clinics

Legal, Medical, and Moral Questions Surround the Apparent Indiscriminate Rush to Vaccinate Students

Providence, RI – The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity today calls on the Governor, the RI Department Of Health (RI DOH), mayors, and town administrators to suspend high-school based vaccination clinics until six critical legal, medical, and parental-rights questions are addressed.

The RI Department of Health has declared that students ages 16 and up are medically “emancipated” from their parents or legal guardians, and thus parental consent forms are not necessary. Cranston opened its first clinic at Cranston High School East this morning, with clinics in additional cities and towns expected to come online in the following days and weeks.

Yet public details of the controversial program are shrouded in mystery and appear to violate long-time accepted medical tenets.

“This rush to indiscriminately vaccinate every eligible student, 16 years or older, and without parental consent, is certainly not moral and may not be medically safe or legally defensible,” said the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse. “Families and the public need to know if vital safeguards and precautions have been put in place.”

From a legal perspective, according the Robert G Flanders, board member of the Center and former Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court … while Chapter 23-4.6 of Rhode Island’s general laws appears to give persons the age of sixteen (16) or over the right to consent to “routine” or “emergency” medical or surgical care, many private attorneys question whether the Covid-19 shot, which is widely categorized as an experimental treatment not yet fully approved by the FDA, qualifies as either routine or as an emergency medical treatment.

Paraphrasing what one prominent civil rights attorney in the state said on a recent radio interview: the legality of applying this statute to this pandemic shot is flimsy enough, where he would not want to stand in the shoes of a government entity that might have to defend itself against an individual case that might produce some adverse health event.

The temporary EUA pandemic vaccines should not be considered as routine, nor is there any emergency situation threatening these children’s lives or health where this statute might apply and deprive their parents of the right to consent to such treatment.

  1. Before these school-based clinics are allowed to continue the Center calls on the RI DOH to release its legal opinion as to why it believes these students are legally emancipated for these vaccines, so that appropriate public debate and legal scrutiny can take place.

From a medical perspective, it is unclear if the maxim of “informed consent” will be followed before students are administered the shots. Informed consent means that patients are informed of the risks and benefits of any treatment before moving forward. It is unclear if students will be afforded this widely accepted practice. 

  1. The state and each school district should make their respective ‘informed consent’ policies publicly clear so that appropriate review and discussion can occur.

According to research by Dr. Andrew Bostom, adjunct scholar to the Center and Brown University credentialed epidemiologist, there are multiple reasons why young adults should not indiscriminately rush to receive the vaccine and why informed consent is so critical:

  • Healthy teenagers 16-19 have an extraordinarily low risk of severe adverse medical consequences if they contract the coronavirus.

  • The risk of an adverse Covid-19 vaccine medical reaction is significantly higher than that of the annual flu shot, according to data on the CDC’s own website, potentially leading to hospitalizations or fatalities.

  • The potential long-term risks of these vaccine treatments are not yet known

  • Teenagers who have recovered from a coronavirus infection also need to be informed that their naturally-developed immunity is at least as protective as any immunity that might be conferred by a vaccine.

  • Anyone who may have contracted the virus, could be at increased short-term risk of adverse reaction to the vaccine.

  • There may exist instances, rare as they may be, where a specific vaccination may pose increased risks for certain individuals with certain medical conditions. The maxim of first “consulting with your physician” also appears to be purposefully ignored.

  1. What data and studies, and what medical rationale does the DOH cite in justifying this rush to vaccinations of young adults?

From a moral perspective, there are two important considerations.

Parental-rights. Even if legal, based on private discussions and public interviews conducted on the popular video blog show, In The Dugout with Mike Stenhouse, parents are outraged and believe it is immoral that their children are being subjected to experimental medical treatments without their consent.

Not only do parents believe that they have the right to authorize care for their children, but families are concerned that students may be bullied … via peer pressure from fellow students, teachers, or administrators … into making rash medical decisions. 

The opposite of informed consent, it anathema to the medical community, and of significant concern to parents, that any student or patient be coerced or forced into receiving any medical treatment. 

  1. How will school districts ensure not only that “informed consent” appropriately happens, but also that no “coercion” or “bullying” occurs in pressuring students into signing up for the treatment.

Vaccine Passports: As Governor McKee all but admitted in a recent press conference, and as the letter from Cranston Public Schools stated in its clinic announcement letter, it appears that schools may soon require vaccinations from students if they are to be allowed to participate in “spring end-of-year events such as the junior and senior proms and graduation-related events.”

In mandating experimental health care treatments for any reason, this assault on medical freedom, personal choice, and parental rights is immoral. Such tyrannical acts by government and government schools in Rhode Island, not only runs counter to the concept of individual liberty, but runs counter to policies that more enlightened states are implementing. For example, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to soon sign legislation that passed its state legislature that would impose a $5,000 fine on any school or business for each time it requires a “vaccine passport” or proof of vaccination in order to be a participant or patron. 

  1. Legal or not, what is the state government’s official position on the justification for this infringement on parental rights?

  1. Will the State commit to banning ‘vaccine passports’ for any and all high school events?