Fox News promotes 'no politics public school' that 'encourages' parents to obtain a vaccination waiver
"Fox & Friends" co-host Steve Doocy on Wednesday promoted a Colorado school that uses what one of its co-founders told Fox News is an "innovative approach" for funding since its application to establish a charter school was denied.
Merit Academy in Woodland Park, Colorado, according to Doocy, is a "public school" that "focuses on traditional studies like math, science, and patriotism" and "vows to keep politics out of the classroom."
What Fox News neglected to mention is Woodland Academy wants parents to promote vaccine "choice."
"We believe vaccines are a parent's choice," the school's website reads. "We will not push or try to persuade our parents to vaccinate, or to not vaccinate. That is a parental decision."
But it then immediately encourages not vaccinating children – or at least sending a message that they have "parental rights to not vaccinate their children."
The State does require parents to complete a vaccination waiver, if they choose to not vaccinate children. We would encourage parents to complete the form, as a declaration of their parental rights to not vaccinate their children.
The school's website does not say if it requires teachers and other faculty and staff to be vaccinated, nor does it specify if its vaccination policy applies to all vaccines or just the COVID-19 vaccine, although in the interview one of the co-founders says, " follow all public school requirements and rules."
The State of Colorado requires K-12 students to be vaccinated against a much smaller range of diseases than the CDC recommends.
The position on vaccines the school takes, some would say, is in opposition to its other "core values."
"Jason," Doocy asks Jason Ledlie, a co-founder of the school who now sits on its board of directors. "So you've got five core values: valor, goodness, perseverance, responsibility, and friendship. Now that's a public school where I've never seen that kind of thing etched up on the wall."
"It's a public school," Doocy continues, stretching the traditional definition of "public school."
"So explain how you're actually getting public money to run your school."
Merit Academy co-founder John Dill, who also sits on the school's board, tells Doocy, "we applied as a traditional charter school. That charter was denied, and we used an innovative approach with a group called Envision Reimagined Board of Cooperation Education Services here and outside of Colorado Springs, where they contracted us, and so we follow all public school requirements and rules, and we work underneath ER BOCES to operate our school."
Merit Academy's FAQ says its "curriculum is designed to train mind, body, and spirit, through our attention on the liberal arts, sciences, virtues, habit and exploratory study and practice of each of these topics."