UK: Mother “invited” to attend school meeting under police caution for protecting her son from unsafe schools

The relentless and malicious persecution of parents trying to protect their children from unsafe, COVID infected schools continues unabated.

Lisa Diaz, a mother of two from Wigan and a leading member of the SafeEdForAll (Safe Education For All) campaign group, has been threatened with fines and the Family Court. Now Sarah Paxman, a mum from Epsom, Surrey, has been “invited” to a meeting next week at her son’s primary school under police caution for refusing to send her eight-year-old son, Stanley—who has a number of rare conditions—into school while no serious measures are in place against COVID.

Sarah received her threatening letter on December 8, the same day that Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty held a press conference on the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant. Despite acknowledging the dangers, Johnson said people should work from home “where possible” but could still attend Christmas parties. He then stressed that schools must remain open, and children must attend.

The homicidal indifference to the lives and wellbeing of the younger generation were summed up by Whitty’s sociopathic remark that the first “reality” with Omicron is “a good one” as it was infecting the young!

Sarah spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about the threats she has received and why she has kept her son out of school.

Sarah suffers from Long COVID that has severely impacted her neurological system. Stanley is autistic and attends a specialist school. A bright and happy child, he also suffers from several rare conditions. For this reason, Sarah has kept her son off school since March 2020. She describes this as an extremely difficult decision because Stanley is missing developing social skills and loved his school. But Sarah could see where the pandemic was going and instinctively took steps to protect him.

On December 8, she received a letter “inviting” her to an “interview under caution” on Stanley’s non-attendance.

The letter states, “This interview will be held at Linden Bridge School in accordance with the procedures set out in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. This will mean that you will be formally cautioned in the following terms:

“You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”

Sarah has responded with outrage and fury at the threat. She told the WSWS:

“I first became ill on February 20, 2020, and was very poorly for eight weeks. I was given a series of antibiotics, steroids and had a sinus infection. The whole family was ill, although Stanley’s seemed to be more of a cold. I now have Long COVID which causes many different problems including brain fog and fatigue. Since then, Stanley has had several episodes of very nasty illness.

“My son was never on the vulnerable list, even when shielding was in place because his condition is so rare. I first noticed a problem when he was three years old. He was in a paddling pool, came out with a rash and fainted. It took many arguments with doctors to finally get a referral to an immunologist.”

Stanley has eventually been diagnosed with Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria (Hives) and a systemic allergy to cold—cold Urticaria—that causes him to pass out. He was diagnosed with Fifth Disease, also known as Parvovirus B19 (or “slapped cheek”) in 2018.

“On that occasion in 2018 he had been poorly for a few weeks, but it was bearable. He was eating and he was happy. Then suddenly he was a tiny bit sick, and was coughing, pleading ‘hold me.’ I got straight onto [National Health Service accident and emergency phone number] 111 but he took a turn for the worse as I was talking to them. He was going in and out of consciousness. So, I told them, ‘get me an ambulance now’.

“Because of these anaphylactic shocks he must use an EpiPen. He has two at school and two at home. It is not only dangerous for him to be in the cold. Even in the heat, if he sweats and there is a slight breeze, he gets a rash and can go into shock. If he were left outside in the cold for 10 minutes without medication he would not survive.

“So even though I want him to go to school, I want it to be safe. I want him vaccinated—if it’s good enough for everyone else, it’s good enough for my son. Even though I am terrified about a possible reaction to the vaccine, at least I know he would be observed as he had it and would be protected.

“But I will not take a chance with COVID. It was a virus that caused his current illnesses. He is under the care of Epsom Hospital in Surrey, and I asked them how many children they deal with that have Stanley’s combination of conditions and require an EpiPen. The answer is none, so no one can tell me that they know children are safe, that they will not be affected, and they know what is going to happen.

“Chances are he has had COVID and was asymptomatic, and we do not know the long-term consequences. To put him in school which are like petri dishes because the virus is spreading so easily is like throwing him in the lion’s den. COVID loves a crowd and viral load matters.

“They first approached me about deregistering from school. After September 2020 I was given an Exclusion Officer. Before Christmas 2020 I thought about sending him back, and then again at Easter but it still did not feel safe. I prepared to send him this September and even brought his school uniform so that he was ready. But my gut told me no.

“Because Stanley has an Educational Health Care Plan, he cannot lose his space at school. They tried to encourage me to deregister him, but they cannot guarantee there will be a space for him to return to.

“Five weeks ago, I got a letter to go to school. I phoned them and told them about the situation with my Long COVID. It is more than a loss of smell. It is really affecting me neurologically. I have also come out in a terrible face rash and get very fatigued. Sometimes you think you have recovered but then there is a bad relapse.

“I did get that meeting cancelled but then I got another letter dated November 30, but it only arrived yesterday [December 8]. It tells me I must be at the school at 9.30 a.m. on December 16. And it threatens that I will be under caution.

“I do intend to go to that meeting. I have spoken to a barrister, and he has advised me to go. This threat is unbelievable. A lot of parents want their kids at school. I would like my son at school. But we are in the middle of a pandemic and the schools are not safe.

“I have seen my baby rushed into hospital with his oxygen levels at 71 percent and doctors discussing that he will need an air ambulance. I have been through terrible experiences with my son’s health, and I will not place him in danger.

“He will go back when I say so and when I am sure it is safe. Yet I am being threatened with fines, court and social workers. Of course, if I de-register then none of this applies. How can they do this to parents whose only ‘crime’ is to want to protect their children? I say bring it on. Send social services round. I have nothing to hide. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I am only looking after my child.

“We need proper ventilation in schools, workplaces, hospitals, etc. With cholera it was accepted that we are all entitled to clean water. Now we must have clean air. It is a matter of life and death.

“I was never political until this pandemic. When it started, when I and my family became ill, I started reading about it, and getting on social media. I started to follow Lisa Diaz. I am much more political now.

“Why are they doing this? Because they do not give a s**t about us. They care only for the rich and the elites. That is all they are bothered about. Although it would not surprise me if some of them had made the deliberate decision to bump some of us off.

“Look at that [Downing Street] press conference dress rehearsal—sniggering and lying about having parties when everyone else was in lockdown. I am furious about it. When so many have been ill, lost loved ones, had to give things up and they stand there laughing behind our backs.

“They know that if kids go to school without the needed mitigations this will continue to spread. They should have sorted this out already, but they will not because they want the schools open, so the parents go to work.

“This is a herd immunity experiment at our children’s expense. My son will not be taking part in it. Not on my watch. No way. The medical textbooks are still being written. A lot of people are going to be on the wrong side of history.”

Sarah has asked for her situation to be passed as testimony to the Global Workers’ Inquest into the COVID-19 Pandemic, organised by the WSWS.