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High school track coach fired for not enforcing ‘senseless, irrational, cowardice b—s—’ mask mandate

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A New Hampshire high school track and field coach was fired after refusing to enforce a mask mandate for athletes that he called “senseless, irrational, cowardice b—s—.”

Pembroke Academy track and field coach Bradley Keyes said the school informed him that athletes would be required to wear masks during all races and the majority of field events during the upcoming spring season.

Keyes argued against the mask mandate in a blog post he published Saturday while encouraging others to tell the school they opposed the policy. He included an email he sent to the school’s athletic director.

The blog post read:

I’ll come straight to the point. I will not put kids on the track and tell them to run any races while wearing masks. I will not stand up in front of the kids and lie to them and tell them that these masks are doing anything worthwhile out in an open field with wind blowing and the sun shining. These insane policies are robbing kids of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for no valid reason other than irrational fears and going along with the sheep.  … Fire me if you must.

Keyes added that the guidelines were, “Senseless, irrational, cowardice b—s—.”

On Monday, Keyes posted a separate blog post informing readers that he had been fired.

I have been fired. I am not surprised. I made my choice to speak out. They made theirs.

My only regret is not being able to be there everyday to teach and encourage all of my athletes. I have just one parting thought that came to me yesterday that helped clarify this situation and why I made the choice I did.

One of the fundamental parts of all of this is learning to play by the rules. The rules supposedly put in place in order to create a fair and level playing field, to let everyone know what is expected and allowed, and then to let the best man, woman, or team win,” he added. “Except now we are adding arbitrary, senseless, ill-thought rules.

In an interview with WBZ-TV, Keyes said he does not regret his decision to push back against the mask mandate.

“I didn’t give (the school) any real choice. I backed them into a corner. What I wanted was to make a point. I was hoping the word would get out some and maybe there would be enough reaction that down the road, maybe in a few weeks or later, some of the restrictions would be changed. I just think people haven’t pushed back and I decided it was time to push back.”

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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College to begin offering abortion pill on campus

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Barnard College, a partner campus of Columbia University, will be rolling out a plan in May that involves supplying students with abortion pills, the Columbia Spectator reported. The plan to provide the abortion service in the form of mifepristone abortion pills to students was initially announced in the fall of 2022 after the overturning of Roe. V Wade, according to the Spectator. However, the rollout’s delay has been partially attributed to an August 2023 grant the college received, which allowed Barnard to join a large network of primary care providers that will help steer the college through the procedures.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports Barnard’s Primary Care Health Service will host student focus groups in upcoming weeks to find out student perspectives about the service and to identify new ways to support students considering abortion. “We wanted to make sure that we’re addressing this from every angle that will be supportive of students,” Sarah Ann Anderson-Burnett, director of Medical Services and Quality Improvement of Barnard, told the Spectator. Anderson-Burnett also said it has expanded the availability of its abortion providers to after-hours and year-round.

Barnard has six medical professionals, including two physicians and four nurse practitioners, who are capable of performing the procedure, Mariana Catallozzi, vice president for Health and Wellness and chief health officer of Barnard, told the Spectator. The school also launched a partnership with AccessNurse, a medical call center that will assist with patient concerns related to abortions.

“The training doesn’t end with the clinicians,” Anderson-Burnett told the Spectator. “Clinicians are trained on the actual provision, but there’s also an overall training that will be provided to key partners and stakeholders across the campus because we want every step, every touchpoint, to be supportive and to be trauma-informed and to be patient-valued and centered but also respect confidentiality and privacy.”

The University of Massachusetts Amherst spent more than $650,000 to stock abortion pills in March 2023 at the request of Democratic Maryland Gov. Maura Healey. Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill in May 2023 forcing college in the state to stock abortion pills on campus.

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