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Kids Perform Propaganda Discriminating Against Unvaccinated Peers at Manhattan School Holiday Show

Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: February 8, 2022
Kids at a Manhattan school performed propaganda discriminating against fellow students who have not accepted a COVID-19 vaccination
Masked children hold mock Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines during an alleged vaccine-status discrimination skit during the TACS holiday show conducted by Center School MS243 in Manhattan School District 3. The event was gated by vaccine passports and required full masking to attend. One concerned parent questioned the rationality of the performance, stating three participants and 20 percent of students at the school are unvaccinated. (Image: Twitter screenshot)

During a holiday show, students at a Manhattan-area school carried handmade signs saying “Pfizer” and “Moderna” while singing a cover of the 1980s song Safety Dance modified to include lyrics discriminating against the 20 percent of students who have yet to accept a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) novel gene therapy injection.

A mother alleges not only that a second skit during the event depicted children ridiculing other children posed as protestors against vaccine mandates, but that a third answered the question of “What is the meaning of Christmas?” by reciting the chaotic second verse of Alan Ginsberg’s Howl, a poem written in devotion to the devil Moloch, which Wikipedia associates with child sacrifice rituals based on accounts contained in the Hebrew Bible.

A photo of the event showing fully masked children carrying the signs emerged on Feb. 4 from the Twitter account of a woman named Antigone Michaelides, who appears to be an interior designer in the New York City area.

Michaelides titled the post “Upper West Side Story” and stated, “My son’s middle school holiday show featured a song where the kids, holding ‘Pfizer’ and ‘Moderna’ signs, were singing ‘if you’re not vaxxed you’re no friend of mine’ to the tune of ‘Safety Dance.’”

“1 in 5 kids at that school are unvaxxed,” she added.

At the time, the account gave little details of where or when the performance occurred, only hinting it took place in the New York area based on the heading of the tweet. 

Michaelides was asked by another user if other parents in her community were outraged by the display, only to reply that vaccine passports and mask compliance were required to attend the event, “so the indoctrinated audience, with a handful, maybe, of exceptions, was clapping along.”

“The school figured they were preaching to the choir,” she stated, adding “I know parents who were not allowed in bc they’re not vaxxed.”

Safety Dance was a 1980s synth pop classic by the group Men Without Hats, which carried lyrics promoting the abandoning of friends who weren’t cool enough to dance:

We can dance if we want to

We can leave your friends behind

‘Cause your friends don’t dance

And if they don’t dance

Well, they’re no friends of mine

The track was apparently selected for modification into a cover promoting discrimination based on vaccine status because of its conveniently arranged original lyrics.

On Feb. 7, more details were provided when Michaelides updated her tweet to include an email she and her husband sent to the Superintendent of Manhattan School District 3.

In the email, the designer revealed the school was Center School MS243, which conducted the TACS holiday show in December of 2021. A post on the MS243 website dated Dec. 9 stated TACS would be the first live show the school had performed since 2019, and stated that, “Masked and vaccinated people will be there to cheer the cast on.”

A Dec. 3 post on the site advertising tickets for the show stated that attendance was limited to 100 people, and that “ANYONE THAT WANTS TO COME MUST BE VACCINATED AND REMAIN MASKED THROUGHOUT THE SHOW.”

In a third Dec. 13 post, the school admitted that the 100 person attendance cap had not yet filled for the afternoon show, but added that they “look forward to seeing you (masked and vaccinated.)”

How is it acceptable for a teacher, or teachers, to promote an agenda which encourages some children to turn against other children at the same school?

Parents Antigone Michaelides and David Porter in a letter to Manhattan School District 3

In her email, Michaelides stated that she had been told three of the children who participated in the skit were unvaccinated, and spoke out about having them participate in “a song which makes vaccination a precondition for friendship.”

The mother zeroed in on the policy dissonance the segment appeared to display in her email to the Superintendent because during a recent Zoom call parents were told some of District 3’s “Core Goals” were to address the “social and emotional needs” and to respect the “lived experiences” of students.

“How is it acceptable for a teacher, or teachers, to promote an agenda which encourages some children to turn against other children at the same school?”

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She asked further, “And when did it become acceptable for teachers to place their own agenda above the emotional needs of the students they are required to instruct, as per the goals and the guidelines of the NYC DOE?”

Michaelidies also questioned the wisdom of using children for “promoting pharmaceutical corporations at a public school event, particularly for an Emergency Use Authorization product?”

In the letter, she hypothesized that what motivated the creation of the indoctrination piece was a desire to “embarrass the students who were not vaccinated” or to “put the adults who chose not to vaccinate their child into a difficult position.”

More damningly, in the letter Michealides stated that the vaccine acceptance piece was not the only portion of political propaganda during TACS 2021. 

She alleged that in another skit, children costumed in fatigues, dressed as Napoleon, a box of Kools-brand cigarettes, and as a “Trump supporter” all surrounded children holding placards that had slogans such as “I fear God not COVID” and “I am not a science experiment.”

The designer characterized the second skit as a piece that “ridiculed unvaccinated people protesting against vaccine mandates.”

“How is it acceptable to the NYC DOE to employ teachers who mock people for their beliefs, especially in a holiday show?” the couple asked.