TOPEKA – Sally Roth Hemmer said her testimony to a Kansas Senate committee on government abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic was offered on behalf of parents who were afraid of losing their jobs or having children in return after speaking out.
Hemmer, whose father Charles Roth served on the Legislative Assembly until 2013, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the mask mandate ordered by the Salina school district was in place until February despite the lack of an accompanying edict from Saline County.
“Our children suffered daily,” Hemmer said. “As a parent, we have every right to be furious. This was targeted bullying of our children, sanctioned by the district.”
Hemmer claimed Salina school board members, district staff and medical professionals met behind closed doors as an advisory committee to consider health trends and decide how to proceed during the pandemic. The public should have been a part of these key conversations, she said.
“I’m worried it’s a break in open meetings,” said Senator Molly Baumgardner, a Republican from Louisburg. “It’s a problem that gives cause for concern.”
Dozens of individuals testified in writing or orally on Thursday to Senate committees, which plan to dig into Senate Bill 541 on Monday. colleges on masking, contact tracking or vaccination passes. The bill will incorporate financial sanctions in connection with the closure of companies in a health emergency. Meanwhile, the Senate is expected to consider a bill limiting the authority to the secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment during health emergencies.
Late. Kellie Warren had no testimony from the opponenta Leawood Republican who chairs the committee and is a candidate for attorney general.
“The mandates have affected our family personally. It’s important that we stand up for our rights,” Warren said, pausing more than once after being emotional. “You have been heard. We are facing too much in our country today from the left, and I want to be honest in all areas. ”
Of those who testified, one after another called on Senate committees to enact laws prohibiting school boards as well as city or county governments from imposing a person’s right to make health decisions their will. They referred to questions of freedom and liberty and spoke of “bodily autonomy.” a concept that anchors arguments from opponents of legislation restricting access to abortion.
Overland Park resident Shara Collins said Governor Laura Kelly and Johnson County officials the government put people “through absolute hell” with pandemic mandates who chopped away at one person’s right to decide over masks and vaccinations. She said tests were designed to produce false positives and give rise to “mass hysteria” in public.
Kansas accepted billions of dollars in federal aid in return for civil rights violations clarified by the U.S. Constitution and the Kansas Constitution, she said.
“You have no authority to make any decisions about my personal health,” Collins told lawmakers. “I say politely to you that you must repeal all legislation regarding any regulation of my body and my personal medical choices.”
Kathryn Andries, a resident of Shawnee who works as a teacher, claimed that “countless” reports showed that masks are ineffective against coronavirus. She also said companies seized the pandemic to encourage government restrictions and make use of technology to monitor the population.
“Technocrats are behind these mandates,” she said. “This is about a technocrat taking over all aspects of our lives. They demand that every citizen’s activity be constantly monitored and monitored.”
Lied for and bullied
Angela Gantzer, who is the mother of two children in the Shawnee Mission district, said the governor should not have moved public schools to an online format because students with disabilities found it impossible to participate virtually. When the personal classes were resumed, she said, mask and quarantine requirements enforced by school districts further undermined students’ ability to learn.
“We know so much learning was lost during COVID,” Gantzer said. “COVID has been a frightening and deadly disease for some. However, our children should never have been the ones to bear the weight of potential spread in our society.”
Atchison teacher Monica Beien said the public school district consistently made decisions that created barriers to students’ academic success. The school board’s actions outside of their powers forced school “shutdowns,” masking directives and quarantine rules that increased students’ problems with social interaction, she said.
“School board members bullied students,” Beien said. “Students and staff have been lied to by administrators.”
She said she endured a backlash after responding on social media to a column written by a family doctor and rep. John Eplee, an Atchison Republican.
“This was the beginning of the retaliation, harassment and bullying against me,” Beien said. “I am afraid of continued retaliation, including not being offered a teacher contract for next year.”
Journalists, Karl Marx
Late. Mike Thompsonand Shawnee Republicans who spoke last year at a Johnson County anti-vaccination forumsaid the problems with exceeding local authorities would not be corrected quickly. It is important for the type of people who testified at the Senate committee hearing to keep the political pressure on officials at all levelshe said.
He said another problem was journalists’ reluctance to report on people’s concerns who does not appreciate mask, social distancing, testing and vaccination mandates.
“The press has generally tended to ignore this page – that people who actually live these storiessaid Thompson. “They work uninterested in knowing this page. It is frustrating, angry at me. “
No Democrat in the Senate committee asked questions to people who testified about what went wrong in schools and other areas of government during the pandemic.
Late. Dennis Pyle, R-Hiawatha, said it was important that Kansans learn more about liberal work against good government. He said it was important for Kansans to absorb ideas from 19th-century German philosophers Karl Marx, who wrote on political theory and socialism, and Friedrich Nietzche, who published critiques of European morality and religion.
“We’re in our country for a while,” Pyle said, “you better know what you believe in. You better know what the enemy thinks. If you do not have a ‘communist manifesto’ and you have not read or studied Marx or Nietzsche, you have to. “