Florida school reverses 30-day stay-at-home order for vaccinated kids – a policy based on false claims about the COVID-19 shot

Centner Academy building, pictured on a sunny day in Miami
Centner Academy private school is located in Miami’s Design District. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images
  • A Florida private school that drew controversy after saying vaccinated students must stay home for 30 days after each dose has reversed its stance.
  • The policy was based on a myth that’s been debunked.
  • The Florida Department of Education threatened to withdraw funding, and the school backed down.

A Miami private school that’s been called a “beacon” for anti-vaxxers is reversing its controversial and unscientific 30-day quarantine policy for vaccinated students.

Centner Academy reversed its policy on Thursday, according to documents obtained by MedPage Today.

That was after the Florida Department of Education sent a letter to the school, threatening to terminate state scholarships that allow the school to “receive considerable sums of money,” Jacob Oliva, senior chancellor of the Florida Department of Education, said in the department’s letter to Centner.

“Recently, it has come to our attention that your schools may employ attendance policies which require parents of recently vaccinated students to quarantine their children for an unreasonable, unnecessary, and unduly burdensome amount of time,” Oliva said in the letter. “Although we at the Department are still investigating the matter, let me take this opportunity to remind you of your various obligations under the law – specifically, both attendance and health, safety and welfare requirements.”

Oliva cited two separate Florida state statutes “meant to protect the rights of our citizens and the safety of our students,” and said “your compliance is, put bluntly, mandatory.”

Centner has bizarre policies on vaccines, masks, and 5G

Picture of the Centner Academy building
Centner Academy in Miami, pictured April 27, 2021. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

This isn’t the first time Centner Academy has instituted vaccine politics that go against established scientific facts. In the spring, Centner said it wouldn’t employ vaccinated staff, citing the same false claims it used more recently against vaccinated kids.

The COVID-19 vaccines cannot make people sick with COVID-19, and the vaccine also cannot be inhaled via shedding. These are claims which have been thoroughly debunked before.

David and Leila Centner pictured in a club, dressed up
David and Leila Centner on May 23, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Michael Bezjian/Getty Images for gudly

Leila Centner, co-founder of the academy, has said that she’s allowing for “medical freedom” at the school, even though vaccines have been a routine part of keeping kids safe from infectious diseases at school for more than 100 years. According to The New York Times, Centner has also installed electromagnetic frequency “shielding blockers” in the preschool, because of concerns about baseless 5G radiation conspiracy theories. She has also discouraged masks at school during the pandemic.

In his letter to the school, Oliva reminded Centner that “lawful school policies” are those that allow parents to make sound decisions about the health and safety of their children and families.

The coronavirus has been spreading quickly in schools, while vaccines and masks remain people’s best defense against severe illness and death. Recent research has also shown that having more vaccinated family members helps protect kids who are too young to get shots.

David Centner, Leila’s husband and co-founder of Centner Academy, later told MedPage Today that the decision not to enact the quarantine policy in the end “was an easy one” because “no parents expressed interest in getting the COVID vaccine” for their children.