Students Segregated and Isolated from Peers at School

There was a time when the isolation and shaming of children by teachers and authority figures was frowned upon.

But what was once considered cruel and abusive is now the norm in at least one Ohio school.

Children who cannot comply with the school district’s mandatory mask policy due to a medical exemption are segregated from other students throughout the school day.

Ohio Statehouse News learned of the situation via a social media post and contacted the school district to confirm.

West Liberty-Salem Local School District requires all students in third grade and up to wear face coverings in order to attend in-person classes, as do other Ohio schools due to Governor DeWine’s mandatory student mask order.

Students in K-second grade are “strongly encouraged” to wear face coverings, according to the district’s website.

Superintendent Kraig Hissong confirmed that mask-exempt students are isolated behind plexiglass at their desks to prevent the potential spread of COVID and are kept apart from other students as much as possible throughout the school day.

“These are precautions that have to be taken,” said Hissong . “This is the best we can do with what we have.”

When it is necessary to leave the classroom as a group, these children are placed at the front of the line and kept apart from classmates as much as reasonably possible, he said.

“This is the best chance that they will not come in contact with others,” said Hissong.

The Superintendent said there is an online option for students that cannot wear a mask. Those who choose to attend in-person school must be “accommodated” for their safety and the safety and the safety of others.

Acquiring a medical exemption in the West Liberty-Salem Local requires an order from the child’s physician and must go through the county health department, said Hissong.

The exemption is subject to approval from the school district, according to the its website.

“There are things I have to do as a superintendent,” said Hissong. “There are state directives that we need to follow. We need to make school as safe as we can.”

Hissong said there are up to six students in the district that have obtained or are in the process of obtaining a medical mask exemption.

There are 1156 students in the district, according to the website. Hissong said about 160 of them are doing online school.

“If your child refuses to wear a face covering at school, when it is required, and does not comply to school personnel when reminded to put his/her mask on, than there may be disciplinary consequences,” according to the website.

The district offers guidance on what type of mask students should wear during in-person school

More than two dozen parents have sued Ohio’s health director over the state’s mask mandate for children in schools. The case is onlging.

HB 606 was signed into law on Monday, September 16, 2020, that  temporarily shields individuals, businesses, schools, health care providers and other entities from tort liability in incidents of COVID-19 exposure or transmission through Sept. 30, 2021.

A school dashboard was recently set up on the Ohio Department of Health coronavirus page that tracks cases by district.

Former CPD Speaks Out in Support of Columbus Police Officers

 Letter to the Editor from former CPD James J. Scanlon 

“Vote NO on Columbus Charter Amendment Civilian Police Review Board”

After spending over $500,000 of Columbus City tax dollars on a no bid contract with the BakerHostetler Law Firm, Mayor Ginther and City Council members were “surprised and angered” that the vast majority of Columbus Police Officers were cleared of any wrongdoing during the recent downtown riots. Unfortunately, Ginther and Council members did not voice the same “surprise and anger” about the 200 injuries inflicted on their police officers during those same riots.

Since Mayor Ginther and all Columbus City Council Members didn’t get the desired bang for their buck, (well – your buck), in maliciously persecuting Columbus Police Officers, they have devised another plan to accomplish that goal.

They propose Columbus Charter Amendment (3501.11G) to establish a suspiciously vague Citizen Review Board that lacks any transparency. This proposed kangaroo court has no clear direction, no clearly defined goals, and no clear selection process for board members.

However, Ginther’s charade of a citizen’s review board will clearly be filled with individuals who have a disturbingly anti-police bias and will be focused on falsely accusing and prosecuting the fine men and women of the Columbus Division of Police.

Support your Columbus Division of Police. Support a return to law and order in Columbus.

Vote NO on Columbus Charter Amendment (3501.11G) Citizen Review Board.

James J. Scanlon
614-419-4890 Cell
nasta@nasta.ws

Link to Ballotpedia: Columbus Issue 2, Civilian Police Review Board and Inspector General Charter Amendment

 

COVID-positive test results entered into statewide police database

If you test positive for COVID-19, your result doesn’t simply stay with the health department. Positive results are sent to the Ohio Department of Public Safety and entered into LEADS, the Law Enforcement Automated Data System.

LEADS is used to alert officers of arrest warrants, protection orders, stolen vehicles, CCW permits – and COVID-19.

Gov. Mike DeWine’s Press Secretary Dan Tierney said HIPAA laws don’t apply to COVID testing.

HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a US law designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients’ medical records provided to health plans, doctors, and other health care providers, does not apply to COVID-19 in this situation, according to the press secretary.

“This is valuable information for first responders,” said Tierney. “The purpose is to protect first responders from a highly infectious, airborne disease.”

A “hit” is received alerting of your COVID-positive status when your name, address, drivers license or plates are entered, notifying law and emergency personnel to use personal protective equipment.

This system has been in place since May 21, according to Kristen Castle , ODPS director of communications. Castle said the information stays in the system for 30 days.

An order signed by former Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton on April 14 called for preventing the exposure to first responders.

Although the order was apparently intended for protection of law and emergency personnel, it’s possible you could be charged if your local health department ordered you to quarantine and you are found in public, according to Tierney.

Ohio Statehouse News was contacted anonymously by a Central Ohio dispatcher who made us aware of the statewide COVID alert that many Ohioans were not aware was in use.

A “COP” (Caution Ohio Police) is entered into LEADS for positive cases, explained the dispatcher.

“We as dispatchers are advised to look at the date of the test in the COP Alert, if that has been within the last 14 days, to advise the officer of a ‘possible infectious condition’ or PIC,” the dispatcher said.

“However many municipalities have attached criminal penalties to violation of mask ordinances and not adhering to DeWine health orders do carry criminal penalties under the Ohio Revised Code. So it would or could be up to the officer.

“I will say that any department that I work with has gone above and beyond to communicate with their officers that they emphasize education over enforcement and it is not hard to read between the lines to see that enforcement is really the absolute last, last resort.”

The dispatcher said many local law enforcement agencies are not doing anything with mask or social distancing complaints either, they are clearing the calls as information only and not responding.

High Speed Internet Access Should be Made Safe for Ohio Students and Communities

by Monique Maisenhalter, SW Ohio for Responsible Technology

According to the September 1, 2020 Ohio governor press conference, $50M in grants has been made available for providing remote learning supplies to K-12 students.

These supplies include internet-abled lap tops, tablets, and Wi-Fi hotspots for homes which will allow 121,000 students to do remote learning.

The grant also supports the creation of new public and mobile Wi-Fi spaces to provide internet access to 645,000 students.

During the press conference, there was also discussion of streamlining broadband laws.

Ohio broadband laws like Ohio House Bill 478 “Small Cells Expansion Act” severely limit municipal control over wireless infrastructure installation. These laws put Ohioans’ health and safety at risk.

4G and 5G small cell towers have been installed next to Ohio homes, schools, medical facilities, and businesses. They are continuing to be installed without taking health, safety, and liability into consideration. Ohioans should be given a say in this.

If there is no “cell service gap” in your neighborhood, then telecom companies shouldn’t be allowed to install towers, antennas, and other wireless infrastructure.

According to lawyer, Andrew Campenelli,
unfortunately, what the vast majority of the country doesn’t know is that with respect to the 5G rollout, virtually all of the wireless facilities are essentially unregulated.

What I mean by that is that when they are built, the FCC has no idea where they are and has no idea of what level of RF radiation they are emitting.
That’s because any facility under 199 feet doesn’t have to be registered with the FCC.

And with regard to RF radiation they are exposing people to, the FCC – unless it receives a complaint – they never test the facilities and never require the owners to test them.”

Also according to Campenelli, Ohio legislators and municipal governments are not powerless to regulate and deny small cell installations.

In 2011, Dr. Keith Black, an American neurosurgeon stated “Children’s skulls and scalps are thinner so the radiation can penetrate deeper into the brains of children and young adults.”

Health issues caused by Blue Light from screens are also well documented.

Ohio students deserve safe remote learning tools. School districts should provide families with the necessary tools to set up wired Ethernet connections in their homes and instructions to turn off the Wi-Fi signal on school-supplied devices. This would eliminate the need for Public Wi-Fi and Mobile Wi-Fi spaces which create health, safety, and liability risks as well as reduce property value.

School districts should also supply Blue Light reducing glasses or protective screens for students to use with their devices.

For more information about unsafe technology being installed in Ohio, join SWORT on Facebook (SW Ohio for Responsible Technology) or email swo4responsibletech@fuse.net Click here to review and sign our petition, “Stop 5G Deployment in Ohio Until Independent Studies Prove It’s Safe.”

Additional links:
The American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations on Cell Phones, Cell Towers and Wireless Radiation

Parent-Teacher Organizations Action on Wi-Fi, Cell Phones and Cell Towers at School

Schools Worldwide Removing the Wi-Fi and Reducing Exposure`

COVID-positive cases flagged by Butler County Sheriff’s dispatch

The Butler County Sheriff’s Department alerts officers when they may be coming in contact with someone that has tested positive for COVID-19.

The name and address of individuals who have tested positive are reportedly provided to the sheriff’s department by health officials.

That information is entered into a system utilized by law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical technicians throughout the county,  according to Miranda Sheppard, BCSD dispatch manager.

The sheriff’s office reportedly dispatches for 15 fire and 12 EMS departments and eight police agencies, including Hamilton and Oxford.

Sheppard said the information is for the protection of law, fire and emergency personnel.

“If we load an address for a call and see that there’s a flag, it alerts us to utilize proper PPE,” said Sheppard.

The system also will flag the name of anyone who has tested positive when entered, said Sheppard.

Sheppard explained that Miami University has its own police department and the BCSD does not handle its dispatch.

The program has been in place for a few months. Thus far, there have been no complaints about privacy issues that she is aware of.

Sheppard said protocols vary by police departments within the county, but that BCSD does not enforce quarantine or isolation orders.

Butler County Sheriff Richard “Jonesy” Jones made news in early July when he said he would not help enforce Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s orders for mandatory mask wearing in the county.

“We are not the mask police,” said Jones.

Sheppard said the flagged names and addresses in the system automatically expire after 21 days and disappear.

A video surfaced on Twitter that showed an officer talking with an individual whose address had been flagged. However, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles is not involved in the alert system, said Sheppard.

CDC advises parents to prepare for “sudden sleepover” for school children

The Center for Disease Control recently updated their website advising parents to prepare for a “sudden sleepover” for their children in the case of a disaster, which could include COVID-19.

Coincidentally or not, a few days later on Aug. 31, a new order was issued by Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes creating FEMA COVID-19 shelters and legalizing their use.

The FEMA shelters are to be used to “isolate those diagnosed with or showing symptoms of COVID-19.”

See Story in The Ohio Star.

The CDC advised parents to prepare for children to be detained overnight in case of a disaster, listing COVID-19 as a “biological threat” that would qualify as a disaster.

Governor Mike DeWine requires schools to report K-12 student COVID cases to the government. This must be done within 24 hours of a positive test.

A three-step preparedness card published by the CDC says it’s as Easy as ABC to prepare.

See complete CDC  infographic.

“Tell school administrators about any extra supplies your child may need to safely make it through a night away from home,” the CDC advised. “Bring extra medicines, special foods, or supplies your child would need if separated overnight.

“Complete a backpack card and tuck one in your child’s backpack and your wallet.”

The ODH order calls for college students living in dorms or other situations deemed unacceptable by health officials to be sent to FEMA shelters for isolation.

See story in Ohio Statehouse News.

Any Ohioan living in a household that health officials deem unacceptable (generally a shared bathroom) could legally be ordered to a FEMA shelter.

College Students can be Ordered to Isolation Facilities, says new State Order

The most recent  Order  from the Ohio Department of Health could require college students to be sent to isolation facilities by health officials even when they do not test positive for COVID-19.

The order was signed by Ohio Health Director Lance D. Himes late Monday, August 31.

Removal to a Covid facility could be required if the student lives in a dorm or in a situation with a shared bathroom or bedroom that does not meet isolation criteria established by health officials.

Per the order, anyone testing positive for covid who does not require hospitalization can be ordered into isolation.

Additionally, anyone who has been exposed to COVID and anyone who is asymptomatic but deemed “high-risk” can be ordered to isolation as a precautionary measure.

Students exiting hospitals also could be required to isolate in such a facility, said the order.

Quarantined students cannot leave an isolation facility until they have a written release from health officials. Each educational institution would decide if parents or other visitors would be authorized to enter the facility, per the order.

No isolated or quarantined student can leave the premises to which he has been restricted without written permission, according to the order.

See the order  here.

Public colleges and universities have been directed to make available vacant sturctures for isolating students. The educational institution is to impose restrictions on the use and access to these structures, the order said.

Ohio State University  is conducting  mandatory testing of 8,000 students each week through their “surveillance testing program.”

“The university will test a randomly assigned sample of 8,000 undergraduate students each week, who will be asked to take a COVID-19 diagnostic saliva test at Jesse Owens North,” said the OSU document.

“This is a required program. Failure to respond and schedule a test may result in a directive to quarantine until testing can be completed, loss of access to university spaces and a report to Student Conduct.”

Calls to several other public Ohio colleges and universities have not yet been retuned, but many others reportedly are not conducting COVID testing.

The Akron Beacon Journal reported that Miami University is conducting mandatory COVID-19 testing of students living on campus,

Crawford said he and Dean of Students Kimberly Moore assure that students who test positive won’t be punished, nor will information gleaned from contact tracing be used to reprimand students. Failing to schedule a test, however, has consequences, he said:

“Students who refuse testing must withdraw from their face-to-face classes this term and complete their remaining classes remotely,” Crawford said.

This article was updated on 9/6/2020

Back and Forth in the Big Ten

By Del Duduit

Are we playing football, or ping pong?

I keep hearing plans for Ohio State to play football, even though the Big Ten put the kibosh on the season a couple of weeks ago amid panic from the coronavirus.

The Buckeyes’ head football coach, Ryan Day, has suggested starting a season in January.

He told reporters on a Zoom call that, “I think that starting the first week in January would be the best way to go,” Day said. “That way there is some separation between that season and the next season.”

I don’t believe officials within the Big Ten thought they would see such outrage from parents, players, big donors to the program, and boosters when they turned off the lights and put the season in the locker.

Many media outlets, and some college football analysts, downplayed the idea of a spring football season. But not now.

The tide – no pun intended to Alabama – is beginning to turn.

Parents and players have launched their own media blitz to gain support, and it might be working.

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields has been traveling the media circuit to spread the word that he and the rest of the Buckeyes want to play.

In interviews on ESPN radio and Good Morning America, he emphasized that he wants to play. Fields is already projected by many college football experts to be drafted in the first round in the 2021 NFL Draft.

He could easily sit out and let the money come to him, but he wants to be in the Horseshoe and on the field.

This movement is putting pressure on Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, who has fallen on the sword of the conference. “Was this a clunky process? Yes,” he said in an interview. “Were there areas I’d have liked to gone smoother? Absolutely. I need to learn from it and get better at it.”

Two of the top five power conferences in college sports opted out this fall.

The Big Ten and the Pac-12 canceled, or some say they delayed the season, while the SEC, ACC and the Big 12 have decided to keep playing.

Now there is a flurry of activity for those left out in the cold to play.

Could this really happen? Football in January?

The plan, according to an article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, would include only using domed stadiums in the league. Currently, these include Ford Field in Detroit, U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, and Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis.

Although that might appease the die-hard fans, it would put a strain on supporters who want to see the games in person, if they are allowed.
That would still mean no Horseshoe appearances. No Skull Session and no Script Ohio dotting the I in Columbus.

By starting in January and ending in March, some say athletes would have time to recover and rest up before the start of the regular 2021 season. It would also allow elite players the chance to attend NFL combines.
But would the big-name players risk the injury?

Nick Bosa did not return to Ohio State in 2018 after surgery because some speculated that he did not want to hurt his chances of being drafted. Why would a player who has a good chance of being drafted want to risk injury now?

The decision will put some players in a sticky situation. But they could approach the possibility of games in January as glorified scrimmages if the NCAA does not sanction the games.

The movement and petitions by players, coaches and parents is picking up steam.

Sandy Barbour, the athletic director at Penn State, said it would only take a few days to get a schedule approved, and Barry Alvarez, the AD at Wisconsin, said on the Dan Dakich Show last week that some big news might be coming soon.

“We’ve been working on this, Dan,” Alvarez said. “I can’t leak it to you. I’d love to give it to you, but I can’t leak it.”

We have gone from a reduced season to no football at all in the Big Ten, to the chances of playing in the first quarter of 2021, after the National Championship game has been played.

Football in January?

At this point, nothing will surprise me. Stay tuned.

Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.

Rep. Nino Vitale Responds to Campaign Violation Allegations

“LaRose is sending out press releases about me. There are about 200 of these a year. Why am I special?” – Rep. Vitale

State Representative Nino Vitale said it was a local newspaper that alerted him that campaign violations had been issued against him, not the state agency that filed the charges.

The complaint was submitted to the Ohio Elections Commission by Secretary of State Frank LaRose on Wednesday, two days after Vitale co-signed Articles of Impeachment against Gov. Mike DeWine.

The newspaper apparently leaned of the alleged violations in a press release from the Secretary of State’s office.

The Urbana, Ohio, Conservative has been an outspoken critic of the way DeWine has handled Covid-19 and was one of three representatives to co-sponsor a Resolution to Impeach the Governor on Monday.

The complaint alleges that Vitale used campaign resources for a firearms course that he instructs.

Other allegations include failure to file a true, full and itemized campaign finance report, failure to keep a strict account of all contributions, failure to disclose all expenditures over $25, and failure to deposit all contributions into a separate business account.

“Here comes the smear campaign,” said Vitale. “That is how they keep names off impeachment.

“LaRose is sending out press releases about me. There are about 200 of these a year. Why am I special?”

Vitale said his reports to the state have been the same for years.

“The Ohio Ethics Commission has okayed what I have been doing for seven years,” said the representative.

Vitale said he has worked with the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee for years to make certain his Concealed Carry Weapons permit traing class did not conflict with state ethics requirements.

“For seven years I have been asking Ethics, is it okay to do the CCW stuff through my campaign and they said it was. Now they have filed against me after Ethics said it was OK,” said Vitale.

One of the allegations involves an election finance report that was filed one day late.

Vitale responded to the allegations in a social media post.

Ohio Elections Commission Executive Director Phillip C. Richter said the anticipated date for a hearing would be mid-November or December.

Richtor confirmed that a number of complaints are received each year from the Secretary of State’s office, on average between 80 to 200. Another 500 to 700 complaints to the Ethics Commission come from Boards of Election, the director said.

“The assertion of the Secretary of State’s office is that there have been violations of certain provisions of Ohio election’s laws,” said Richtor.

Alleged violations against Vitale can be viewed here.

The complaint also alleges that Vitale converted for personal use his campaign website, email and marketing program and social media accounts.

Documents filed with the complaint say that Friends to Elect Nino Vitale paid for Facebook ads that promoted Vitale’s concealed carry weapons permit classes. Vitale is an instructor and has a shooting range on his Champaign County property. Each was for under $100.

The Secretary of State is reportedly in the process of auditing Vitale’s campaign finance reports and will meet with him on Friday.

An inquiry to LaRose’s office has not yet received a response.

Impeachment poll gets extraordinarily high number of votes

“This specific poll was likely covered on-air more than any other poll in the past year. This poll generated 18,420 votes.”

An opinion poll conducted by a Central Ohio news station garnered so much attention that the station decided to leave it up longer than usual.

It asked, “Do you think Republican Governor Mike DeWine should be removed from office?”

The poll got more than 18,000 votes. Typically the station’s polls receive hundreds of votes, not thousands, according to Adam Slinger at abc6.

Ohioans voted overwhelmingly to impeach DeWine.

Yes: 83.02%
No: 16.98%

It should be noted that opinion polls are unscientific.

Ohio Statehouse News reached out to abc6 when it was brought to our attention that the poll results were never published.

Adam Slinger of abc6  had an explanation for this.

“The poll was opened Monday and closed late Tuesday,” said Slinger.

“Our polls are, typically, left open for less than 12 hours. As our regular broadcast viewers are aware, we do a new poll each day, usually in our 7PM newscast.

“Instead of ending this specific poll the next day, we made the decision to leave it open beyond 24 hours because it continued to generate a high number of votes.

“This specific poll was likely covered on-air more than any other poll in the past year. This poll generated 18,420 votes. Votes are counted by device,” said Sliger.

Link to abc6 story here.