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Rio Americano High School. (Photo: sanjuan.edu)

High School Suspends Student For No Mask Despite Medical Exemption

School district attorney asks mom to keep this incident quiet

By Katy Grimes, August 17, 2021 4:15 pm

The Globe reported on the mother of three students who fought back against the San Juan Unified School District’s face covering policy in May when K-12 students were allowed to return to in-person learning following COVID school lockdowns. She and several other parents shared stories with the Globe of the abuses their kids were being forced to suffer by teachers, administrators and “school safety” cops, with mandatory masking, contact tracing and even regular COVID testing.

This mom called again Monday as her daughter’s high school, Rio Americano High School also in the San Juan Unified School District, suspended her for not wearing a mask in class, despite having a doctor’s medical exemption.

According to the mom, Principal Cliff Kelly at Rio Americano High School in Sacramento first removed her daughter from class at the behest of the teacher, called the mom, then suspended the daughter for not wearing a mask.

The mom said the principal eventually said he and the teacher would allow the daughter back in class without a mask, but the teacher would require the daughter to sit alone in the classroom while she took all of the other students outside for class.

The mom said Principal Kelly even called the sheriff on the mother when she asked him why he ignored the doctor-authorized medical exemption from the mask and face shield, and on what grounds he was suspending her. All of this is recorded on the mom’s phone, including the exchange with a Sheriff’s Deputy.

The mom said Principal Kelly just kept repeating that her daughter was “refusing to comply with a direction, which is a defiance of authority.” The video confirms the principal’s language and the signed medical exemption.

The mom said she asked Principal Kelly several times why he wouldn’t acknowledge her daughter’s medical exemption, but he kept talking in circles about how her daughter defied authority, never acknowledging the medical exemption. She said he told her she could take it up with the school district.

The mom sent an email to the school district about what had happened to her and her daughter at Rio American High School, and immediately received a phone call back from the San Juan Unified School District’s attorney, apologizing and telling her that her daughter was not suspended. The mom said the school district attorney implored her not to pursue the matter against the principal, and to please not tell anyone about what happened and what he did.

“She apologized sincerely and said my daughter is not suspended,” the mom said Monday evening. “The suspension will not be a part of her file. My daughter can go back to school tomorrow and she beseeched me to not take any action against their school principal. She said it wasn’t his fault for suspending my daughter, that he was just following the district policy. She asked me at least twice to please not say anything.”

The attorney did not explain to the mom what the policy was that the principal was following or why the principal ignored the medical exemption.

The attorney told the mom her daughter could return to class Tuesday, and her medical exemption was approved. The mom said the attorney repeated the request to not tell anyone about what happened Monday or about how the principal handled the situation.

The mom sent the Globe an email Tuesday morning with more detail:

“The scare tactics being done on my daughter to get her to comply. My daughter being told her mom is being arrested for doing nothing wrong. My daughter’s principal and secretary manipulated her into thinking she was unsafe to be around others because she has a medical mask exemption. Manipulated and ridiculed for being ‘non-compliant.’ Suspended for being ‘non-compliant.’ Being forced to choose to either go against her doctors’ medical advice or be suspended. Her principal lied to her dad and me and told us my daughter could go back class, however the teacher would remove all of the kids out of the classroom. As soon as we left the principal pulled her from class and put her into a private room to tell her she being suspended. Treating her like a criminal and belittling her. What’s next for my daughter? She must sit in the back of the bus? She can only drink from a certain water fountain? She has to walk on the opposite sidewalk? Last but not least, they treated her like she’s infectious. If the other students are wearing a mask, then they are protected right? So does it matter if my daughter isn’t wearing a mask?”

Mother’s photo of remote desk unmasked student was assigned to. (Photo: Rio Americano parent for the Globe)

Tuesday morning, the mom sent photos to the Globe, and said her daughter was being segregated from her peers, forced to sit behind a sheet of plexiglass at a desk by herself in the classroom.

“Tuesday my daughter left class because of the humiliation,” the mom said. “Soon after I contacted the legal department of San Juan Unified School District, an email went out to all of the teachers telling them to take down the shield and put my daughter back in her original spot with her peers.”

“The principal is the one who made the teachers isolate My daughter and use the plexiglass, the mom told the Globe. “He has bullied My daughter non stop. Another teacher isolated my daughter into a room and told her she was being disobedient and being suspended.  The school resource officer threatened my daughter hoping to get her to comply. His words verbatim: ‘[Daughter’s Name redacted], if you do not wear a face covering, I am going to suspend you and make a citizen arrest on your mother.’”

Tuesday the mom said her daughter reported her chemistry teacher asked the kid sitting next to her if he felt safe because she didn’t have a mask on.

The Globe viewed and listened to the video recordings the mom made but is not using them in the article because there are several items identifying the minor daughter. We’ve replaced the daughter’s name in the article with “my daughter,” everywhere her name was used.
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12 thoughts on “High School Suspends Student For No Mask Despite Medical Exemption

  1. I live in the San Juan USD. My youngest just graduated from high school four years ago. This mom has a lot of patience putting up with school official thugs.

  2. What the school district will do is diagnose the kid with “Authority Defiance Disorder” call CPS, take him away from the family, and drug him to death. That’s what these “educators” and “doctors” do. It’s totally out of Nazi Germany.

  3. Gee, did the teacher put a dunce cap on the girl in addition to isolating her behind plexiglas and segregating her and doing everything else that could possibly be done to point her out and try to humiliate her?
    Thank you Katy for covering this because I’m sure this sort of thing is going on in classrooms all over the state. And it MUST STOP.

  4. 99.8% survivable!
    Children have strong, robust immune systems.
    This young lady has a medical exemption and they treat her like a criminal and make an example out of her. This needs to stop!

    Masks do not protect us from respiratory viral disease.
    The size of a virus particle is much too small to be stopped by a surgical mask, cloth or bandana. A single virion of SARS-CoV-2 is about 60-140 nanometers or 0.1 microns.2 The pore size in a surgical mask is 200-1000x that size. Consider that the CDC website states, “surgical masks do not catch all harmful particles in smoke.” And that the size of smoke particles in a wildfire are ~0.5 microns which is 5x the size of the SARS-CoV-2 virus! Wearing a mask to prevent catching SARS-CoV-2, or similarly sized influenza, is like throwing sand at a chain-link fence: it doesn’t.
    Have you seen how most masks are worn? Typically they are loose on the side of the face for air to escape. It is all theater to look like officials are doing something. Stop the charade.
    The school districts should be held liable for mandating a device that can do more harm than good. There are no efficacy standards on child-sized masks and respirators under OSHA, but there are proven microbial challenges as well as breathing difficulties that are created and exacerbated by masking children. The masks get dirty, we all tend to touch our faces more to adjust the masks which aid in the spread of germs!
    The world has gone mad.

    1. Fed Up Cali Girl, you are absolutely correct. It is mass indoctrination and we have seen this before, as recently as the 1930’s in Germany. They might as well have put a Star of David on the poor girl’s sleeve and hauled her off to a concentration camp.

  5. This is preposterous! In 2021?? … segregation, vindictive and retaliatory treatment, bullying tactics against a teen female .. seems the school district has set themselves up for a civil rights lawsuit against them. If every student showed up in class without a mask, the school wouldn’t be able to do a damn thing. Follow the science, teachers and “administrators.” #I’mWithThem

  6. Let the cult leaders and their eager followers keep their public schools where they can all be hypochondriac collectivists having struggle sessions and studying how racist spelling is while normal people create a parallel society that has a future away from these mindless child abusers intent on creating hell on earth.

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