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‘You’re a bunch of cowards’: Virginia parent unleashes on school board for not reopening schools in viral video

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A video of a Virginia parent has gone viral after he addressed the Loudoun County School Board on Tuesday about their school closures due to the coronavirus.

“You should all be fired form your day jobs,” he says to the school board. “You’re a bunch of cowards hiding behind our children as an excuse for keeping schools closed.”

The video was posted Tuesday on Twitter by Aliscia Andrews, a marine veteran and former Republican candidate for congress.

As of Thursday, the video has amassed more than 432,000 views.

“As a parent, this pandemic has brought forth some incredible challenges,” Andrews wrote. “This dad has had enough, we all have. No real metrics to safely open the schools, while the [school board] continues to kick the can further down the road. Many parents feel just as he does.”

As the father continues to speak to the school board, he grows increasingly louder and more angry.

“You think you’re some sort of martyrs because of the decisions you’re making when the statistics do not lie, that the vast majority of the population is not at risk from this virus.”

He grows more frustrated, “The garbage workers who pick up my freaking trash risk their lives every day more than anyone in this school system!”

“Figure it out! Or get off the podium,” he yells to the school board members. “Because you know what? There are people like me and a lot of other people out there who will gladly take your seat and figure it out. It’s not a high bar. Raise the freaking bar!”

While walking out of the board room, he can be heard saying: “I’ll be back next time. And the next time — till you open the freaking schools!”

Loudoun County superintendent Dr. Scott Ziegler addressed the school board and parents later in the meeting.

“I just like to remind folks in all of my discussions surrounding COVID-19, whether it be with teachers or principals or board members or parents, that we really need to come at this from a place where we are operating with patience, with flexibility, with comfort of the not yet known, and with grace,” said Ziegler. “We can have a differing of opinions, but we can express those opinions and express our thoughts on what the plan is moving forward.”

Many schools have transitioned back to virtual learning until a vaccine is available for all staff and students.

Loudoun County Public Schools have been completely virtual since December, amid rising coronavirus case numbers and positivity rates in Loudoun County.

More than 6,000 employees of Loudoun County Public Schools have now received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. By the end of this week, LCPS estimates that number will reach about 8,700.

Loudoun County School Board will vote next Tuesday on a plan to resume in-person school for students whose parents chose hybrid learning.

If approved, prekindergarten through fifth-grade students — whose parents chose hybrid learning — will be back in classrooms no later than Feb. 16.

Middle and high schoolers would return to classrooms for two days per week by March 3.

“Open schools and open them for everyone! Kindergarten thru 12th,” another parent said at the school board meeting.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Study finds harmful levels of ‘forever chemicals’ in popular bandage brands

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A new consumer study tested several brands of bandages and found higher levels of fluorine in bandages from Band-Aid, CVS Health, Walmart, Rite Aid, Target and Curad, which contain harmful levels of “forever chemicals,” also known as PFAS.

The study by Mamavation and Environmental Health News revealed that out of 40 bandages from 18 different brands, 26 contained organic fluorine, an indicator of PFAS.

“Because bandages are placed upon open wounds, it’s troubling to learn that they may be also exposing children and adults to PFAS,” said Dr. Linda S. Birnbaum, the study’s co-author and the former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program.

News Nation reports that the study found the chemicals present in the adhesive part of the bandages. Mamavation said some brands likely used the PFAS in bandages “for their waterproof qualities.”

“It’s obvious from the data that PFAS are not needed for wound care, so it’s important that the industry remove their presence to protect the public from PFAS and opt instead for PFAS-free materials,” Birnbaum said.

According to the study, the chemicals are linked to several health effects, including “reduced immune system, vaccine response, developmental and learning problems for infants and children, certain cancers, lowered fertility, and endocrine disruption.”

While the exposure risk to PFAS through the skin isn’t clear, skin exposure “poses similar health risks” as eating or drinking food contaminated with PFAS, according to a previous study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

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