Parents are raising the alarm over COVID-19 content being taught to grade school students in the western Canadian province of Alberta. A booklet titled, “Riding the Fourth Wave” is currently being used to instruct students of the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) on COVID-19 with some parents labeling the content more “propaganda” than education.
“The booklet, titled Riding The Fourth Wave, covers a wide range of information on COVID-19 including topics with heading[s] such as ‘How Vaccines Work,’ ‘Pandemic of the Unvaccinated,’ ‘An Unusual Passport’ and ‘Protests and Controversy,’” The Western Standard reported.
The content showcases the now debunked story that ivermectin, a drug prescribed to treat COVID-19 symptoms by numerous doctors, is simply a horse dewormer. While studies have been published for and against the use of the drug to treat COVID-19 the debate on whether it is an effective drug in this use case is far from settled.
A study, published by the American Journal of Therapeutics in June, 2021, concluded that, “Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin.”
The study also states that “ivermectin at the usual doses (0.2–0.4 mg/kg) is considered extremely safe for use in humans. In addition to its antiparasitic activity, it has been noted to have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, leading to an increasing list of therapeutic indications.”
The booklet contains an editorial cartoon depicting two booths, one labelled “science” and the other labelled “fiction” with masked doctors holding a syringe in the booth labeled “science” and a man wearing a tinfoil hat displaying a bottle of bleach and a box labelled, “horse dewormer” in the booth labelled “fiction.”
Students are asked to answer a series of questions concerning the editorial cartoon by referencing a Forbes article titled, “Americans Are Poisoning Themselves In Large Numbers With Bleach, Hand Sanitizer And Quack Covid Cures Like Ivermectin.”
A parent of a child in the CBE system told the Western Standard, “In my opinion, the article was very concerning, propaganda-driven and not suitable for elementary kids. No information was included about the long-term studies on the vaccine and the side effects.”
Under the heading, “COVID-19, Vaccines, and Protests” students were asked to write their opinion about which is more valuable, “freedom” or “social responsibility” after exposing students to quotes such as, “Some feel that vaccine passports infringe on their freedoms and rights. Others may believe misinformation on social media that claims the virus is a hoax,” and “The health care workers who have worked tirelessly for months on end are being bullied and harassed for doing their jobs.”
The booklet refers to vaccine passports as an “incentive” for people to be vaccinated, not as a coercive tactic employed to force people to get vaccinated.
Perhaps most alarming is the use of the phrase, “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” in the booklet, a turn of phrase that has been blamed for sowing division amongst populations.
One mother of a student told the Western Standard that, “There are two sides to every story and our kids should have a chance to see both sides,” with another adding that, “I want to raise a critical thinker and the [booklet] was nothing close to that.”