MIAMI—Centner Academy, a private elementary school in Miami, made national news this week when it announced that any student who gets vaccinated against Covid-19 must stay home for 30 days. The district believes such students could pose a risk to much-safer non-vaccinated students because the vaccine might, you know, come leaping out of the kids’ chests like the creature in “Alien”.
This, however, is not the first time the school has courted controversy. MMW News Service looks back at other times Centner Academy has raised eyebrows:
July 14, 2018
Citing concussion concerns, the National Federation of State High School Associations recommends no one younger than age 13 play tackle football. Butch Ramsey, Centner’s athletic director, announces that the school will not only retain its popular third-grade football team, but that it will no longer use helmets.
“If you’re worried about paralysis, that’ll encourage you to use proper tackling form,” Ramsey said.
The team finished the season with five wins, two losses, and 17 lawsuits.
Jan. 21, 2009
Centner Principal Ashlee Townsend advises that students should provide the school with three copies of their birth certificate – the short form, the long form, and the super-long form which includes extra details like whether the mother punched the father after he said mid-birth, “Honey, you’ve never looked more beautiful.”
“Given recent events regarding ‘President’ Obama’s origins, we just think it wise to nip in the bud any long cons our students might be planning,” Townsend said.
Sept. 12, 2001
In an emergency meeting, the Centner School Board votes 7-0 to suspend any student deemed too swarthy. The board also reinstates a student who was expelled earlier in the day for wearing what a teacher described as a “Taliban robe” that was actually an oversized sweatshirt the student had borrowed from his older brother.
Dec. 5, 1998
Curriculum and Instruction Director Maude Hale adds a six-week discussion of why Bill Clinton had Vince Foster killed to the school’s American history class. She also ends a 30-year policy of teaching alternative theories to the Holocaust.
“After doing our due diligence, we can finally say that it probably did happen,” Hale said.
May 29, 1986
School officials welcome Hulk Hogan to campus to deliver the sixth-grade commencement address. The wrestling superstar warned students that as they head off to middle school, they’d start to notice changes in their body, and that they may start to develop an attraction to certain classmates.
“I want you to handle these new feelings the way all good Hulk-a-maniacs do: Say your prayers, eat your vitamins, and don’t be gay!” Hogan said.
April 24, 1983
Teacher Herb Johnson introduces a safety course that covers topics like, “Sure, jab your fork in that socket” and “Stranger’s vans: What’s the big deal?”
“I just don’t want kids to grow up afraid,” Johnson said.
Nov. 9, 1974
Principal Art DeVries is fired after being caught wearing flared jeans on a weekend. This contradicted the school’s dress code DeVries created which demanded that all students and staff avoid dressing like a hippie.
“Tie-dyes and bell bottoms are why we’re losing in Vietnam,” DeVries said after implementing the policy in 1970.
DeVries relished any opportunity to practice what he called “mortification pedagogy” by forcing students to remove non-complying garments in front of the entire class
“I’d always thought Mr. DeVries was a tough disciplinarian who was humiliating students for their own good, but I never thought he’d turn out to be a phony,” School Board President Jane Simpson said.
Mar. 22, 1963
Centner Academy announces that it is taking applications for its initial school year, with classes scheduled to open that fall. Principal August Ford recorded a promotional ad, which never aired, in which he said, “Parents of south Florida: Are you tired of your little one being bussed all around town? Forced to go to a school where there’s a certain, dangerous element? Sitting next to so-called students that seem uninterested in learning? If so, Centner Academy is ready to welcome you,” Ford said. “What I’m talking about is a whites-only school. Just wanted to make that clear.”