About face

Masks are tools for discrimination

Our schools are failing our children. It’s no secret our kids are suffering more under COVID policy than they do from the virus. School boards are sitting on their hands, giving away their power to protect our children from the physical and psychological harms they’re enduring from damaging policies and mandates.

If there’s any symbol for disastrous COVID policy, it’s the mask. It stifles communication. It separates our smiling faces more than a six-foot imaginary distance ever could. It divides Americans by being a visible mark of compliance. And it’s become a tool for manufactured discrimination based on vaccine status, religion, cultural norms, and political speech.

Shifting public health guidance and mandates that defy common sense have kept Americans in a state of uncertainty.

“Interestingly enough, this is the third time we’ve changed in the last two weeks,” said Jeff Butts, Wayne Township [Indiana] schools superintendent, of his district’s mask policy.

As Butts so clearly stated, parents and kids now have to check mask requirements along with the weather report. But constantly changing rules from officials laying claim to the health of our children from outside our communities hasn’t been a red flag to our school boards. Board members, shockingly, continue to think they have to bow to rules from the federal government (or hide behind them in fear).

When we are uncertain, when we are scared, or angry, or when we are concerned for ourselves and others, we are at our most vulnerable. But we are also at our most powerful to make meaningful change.

No authority for a federal mask mandate

Why is it so hard to see which way the wind is blowing on mask recommendations? Because the first guidance we got from “America’s Doctor” himself was right on the money:

“Wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And often, there are unintended consequences.”[ii]

The science on mask use was clear. Fauci summarized it on March 8, 2020, “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.”

In the beginning of the lockdowns, we were told masks weren’t effective for public use and to save them for health workers. But in April 2020, the White House did an about-face and we were told to mask up to prevent something called asymptomatic spread. Fall ushered in CDC guidance for schools, which included masks and other isolation methods. A year post-emergency declaration, in January 2021, President Biden took office and quickly issued executive orders requiring masks on all federal grounds and directing agencies to “require masks to be worn in compliance with CDC guidelines” on planes, trains, boats, busses, and other ways we get around.[iii] After the EUA vaccine roll-outs in early 2021, the CDC declared in May 2021 masks were not necessary in indoor settings for the vaccinated. However, in the summer of 2021, the CDC recommended masks for all K-12 students and school staff regardless of vaccination status. Next, the claimed Omicron surge sent a wave of mask mandates through our communities and schools once again regardless of vaccination status.

In reality, COVID rules (including masks) come down to what the White House “thought people would be able to tolerate,” as was directly admitted by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky when questioned on changing isolation guidance.[iv]

I say to-mask-oh, you say to-not-oh; let’s call the whole thing off

Most states eliminated mask orders after the CDC’s declaration in May 2021 that vaccinated people no longer needed to mask. However, once the narrative shifted to Omicron, nine states renewed their mask orders for all people in indoor places: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Washington.[v] Washington also required masks outdoors for crowded events. Localities across the country have chosen to impose their own mandates in states where the governor has not acted.

This leaves a patchwork of mask requirements that could truly have one putting on a mask in one store, driving down the road to a restaurant with no requirement, and entering another business only to face a mandate again.

A landslide of lawsuits is sweeping the country over masks, in both state and federal courts. Most of the many cases are not final as they are making their way through the legal process, so here are just a few.

  • In March 2021, Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the statewide mask mandate.[vi]
  • In April 2021, Kansas’ legislature revoked a statewide mask order made by the governor.
  • In May 2021, South Carolina Governor McMaster issued an executive order that included banning mask mandates.
  • In December 2021, Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the school mask mandate.[vii]
  • Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has sued 45 school districts with mask mandates, seeking to halt them.[viii]
  • New Yorkers are dealing with on-again-off-again mask litigation. At the end of January, a judge struck down the mandate, only to see it re-instated by an appeals court.[ix]

What about the busses?

Modes of transportation, including school busses and air travel, are being put through the legal wringer as well. Unlike the general “guidance” given by the CDC, the transportation mandates are relying upon the president’s executive orders from January 2021, and an order subsequently published in the Federal Register. This is the publication that makes people (especially school boards) think they have no choice when it comes to masks on school busses.

You don’t even have to read fine print to determine that the CDC has no authority to mandate masks on transportation across the country. The CDC admits it in plain terms. In February 2021, “Requirement for Persons to Wear Masks While on Conveyances and at Transportation Hubs” was published in the Federal Register. The CDC claimed it was not a Rule and thus did not need the Notice and Comment procedure that allows Americans to hold the agency accountable and take part in decision making. The CDC cited one statute and three regulations as authority. Two regulations are irrelevant instructions for quarantine at ports. The other two relied upon, also in the context of quarantine, were recently addressed by the Supreme Court of the United States as unsupportive.[x] In a ruling striking down the CDC’s assertion of power over nationwide eviction bans, it was noted as “telling” that these laws and regulations have never been used in the manner the CDC was currently attempting. Further, any potential authority granted the CDC would not be as broad as was being asserted. The CDC was overstepping its bounds into the police power of the states.

Biden’s transportation mask order did not give authority, cite authority, nor expressly state that there’s an emergency. Attorney George Wentz explained this well in the context of air travel mask mandate litigation in his interview with SHF Executive Director Leah Wilson. No determination was made that states have insufficiently addressed communicable diseases. The order as published in the Federal Register says that failure to wear the mask on transportation is a “violation of federal law” but no law exists. The executive order came a full year after the WHO declaration of a public health emergency. Prior to that there was no federal action concerning masks. On the CDC website it’s stated that masks “must” be worn on school busses, subject to the order.[xi] In the handbook for schools, language is softer. Schools “should consider the following steps” and the CDC wants to “emphasize the importance” of masking in general. And most directly on point, it’s written that “maintaining mandatory consistent, correct use of masks” is listed as “one of several options to consider to promote safety.”[xii]

Attorney Wentz’s lawsuit challenging the mask mandates for travel is slowly working its way through the courts. His is not the only challenge, however. A Florida family with a child who regularly uses air travel for his medical treatments have also challenged the order, among many others.

“Lawyering up” can be effective. It’s an important tool because it can prevent future harms by putting precedent on the books, clearly letting schools know what they cannot do. A favorable ruling could prevent a mask mandate from happening again. However, courts are the last step in lawmaking — the judgment of whether that law is right. It’s generally a slow and expensive process and people are already hurt because the rule is in effect. The fastest way to help our children get out from under the tyranny in their faces is to address it at the source — get active with your school boards. Make it clear that all health decisions for a child are made by the family, not the educational institution. Remind the schools that sometimes government gets it wrong, and we must say no to laws or “guidance” that hurt our children. We can stop the mandates before they have to get to a courtroom by getting active locally and not complying with mask mandates.

Mandates are only as strong as our fear of noncompliance

Parents, not schools, are the health authority for children. Although our federal government treated parents as “domestic terrorists,” for speaking out in their communities, the White House had to backpedal and apologize when the mama and papa bears roared back.[xiii] We need to keep making noise. Schools and scientists across the globe are starting to wake up to the fact that the benefits of masks were oversold and the risks too high.

One of the biggest hurdles our parent advocates are facing is the response from the school boards that they cannot do anything about mask requirements. Give your school board permission to put the kids first and to break the fear of noncompliance of guidance dressed up as a law. There are too many physical and psychological harms associated with prolonged mask use. Stand for Health Freedom’s Kids First resources give a very thorough overview, offering tools you can use to create change in your schools.

Power to make decisions for health care is rooted in the individual and family unit. Health starts at home. This is where we must come home to roost.



Take Action

We’ve seen enough children suffer under masking, isolation, and vaccine mandate policies in schools. Our children are being devastated by policies that cause more harm than they prevent. Tell your governor to stand up for our children by lifting or prohibiting COVID restrictions in schools. Click below to send a message!

Attend your local school board meeting and meet with administrators to educate them on how their COVID policy choices are harming our kids. Stand for Health Freedom has toolkits and materials to make preparing easy.

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References & Sources
[i] https://www.wane.com/news/some-indiana-school-districts-consider-mask-policy-changes-following-cdcs-new-guidance/

[ii] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRa6t_e7dgI

[iii] “Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel.” 2021. Federal Register. January 26, 2021. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/26/2021-01859/promoting-covid-19-safety-in-domestic-and-international-travel.

[iv] https://www.businessinsider.com/cdc-director-explains-new-coronavirus-isolation-rules-2021-12?op=1

[v] https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2020/states-mask-mandates-coronavirus.html

[vi] https://www.fox6now.com/news/wisconsin-supreme-court-strikes-down-statewide-mask-mandate

[vii] https://www.forbes.com/sites/dereksaul/2021/12/10/pennsylvania-supreme-court-throws-out-school-mask-mandate/?sh=6c0cac1067c6

[viii] https://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/health/schmitt-seeks-temporary-restraining-orders-in-mask-lawsuits/article_b0f71389-8c0f-5094-a839-8654027351b6.html

[ix] https://thehill.com/changing-america/respect/equality/591350-judge-rules-new-york-mask-mandate-can-stay

[x] Alabama Association of Realtors v. US DHHS, No. 20-cv-3377 (DLF), 2021.

[xi] CDC. 2020. “COVID-19 and Your Health.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. February 11, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/face-masks-public-transportation.html.

[xii] “COVID-19 HANDBOOK Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools.” 2020. (page 15). https://www2.ed.gov/documents/coronavirus/reopening.pdf.

[xiii] https://www.foxnews.com/politics/nsba-coordinated-with-white-house-doj-before-sending-notorious-domestic-terrorists-letter-emails


Jill Hines

Directory of Advocacy
A former banker turned homeschool mom, Jill Hines began researching alternatives to conventional medicine in 2010 and what she discovered changed the trajectory of her life. She corrected a worrisome health issue, and embraced a natural approach to wellness. Advocating for informed consent and parental rights became a full-time mission when she joined the board of the Georgia Coalition for Vaccine Choice and later became the co-director of Health Freedom Louisiana. Due to her advocacy efforts during the COVID crisis, Jill was one of 25 Louisianans selected by Central City News as “a hero of the constitutional crisis.” She was also presented the Impact Award for Outstanding Public Service from the government watchdog organization Citizens for a New Louisiana. Jill now represents hundreds of millions of Americans who experienced censorship due to the Biden administration's efforts to suppress disfavored speech as a plaintiff in the landmark lawsuit Missouri v. Biden. Jill holds a marketing degree from Louisiana Tech University and now passionately “sells” health freedom full-time. Serving as Stand for Health Freedom’s advocacy director provides an incredible opportunity to advance the growing movement to preserve the sacred right to refuse unwanted medical interventions for ourselves and our children without fear of retribution.
“We have lived through a terrifying societal, psychological, and medical experiment which afforded us a knowledge that our forefathers tried to impart and we can no longer ignore: Our freedom is tenuous. For our children’s sake, the time is now to take a stand for health freedom.”

Chrissy Scott

Executive Assistant and Social Media Manager

A labor and delivery nurse with a lifelong passion for maternal and fetal health, Chrissy Scott left her job of 19 years after learning the truth about the harms caused by the medical system. In 2009, she was mandated by her employer to receive the H1N1 vaccine during her first trimester of pregnancy with her second child. She was assured that the vaccine was “safe and effective” for pregnant women, but her son was born with a kidney defect that could have been fatal. She didn’t connect the dots to vaccine injury until several years later when the declining health of her oldest son drove her to seek answers outside of allopathic medicine.

This personal journey ignited in her a new passion for truth and transparency in health care. As SHF’s Executive Assistant, Chrissy facilitates communication and local advocacy initiatives alongside Leah Wilson for their home state of Indiana. She also manages and creates graphics for SHF’s social media accounts and the website’s swag shop.

Chrissy earned her nursing degree from Anderson University and served her entire career at her local hospital. While she’s no longer a floor nurse, her five very active boys frequently test her nursing skills! She homeschools her children and has been co-owner of a successful home décor sign business with her sister.

“Parents, being the experts on their own children, are best suited to make decisions for the well-being of their family. To do this properly, they must be given full and accurate information and be free from force or coercion.”

Ellen Chappelle


Ellen Chappelle serves as SHF’s resident wordsmith. A seasoned writer and editor, she’s enthusiastic about ensuring that our content is clear, concise, and inspiring.

Ellen is most energized by working on projects that transform lives. A truth seeker as well as a journalist, she’s disturbed by the lack of accuracy in today’s media and determined to help share fact rather than fiction. And having found greater healing with alternative approaches, she’s also passionate about preserving our freedom to make informed health choices.

Past projects include serving as regional editor of a dog magazine, color and trend specialist for a small cosmetics company, arts columnist, newspaper reporter, ghostwriter, and creator of website content for artists and small businesses.

With a degree in journalism and theatre, Ellen is also a performer. She enjoyed singing and dancing on a cruise ship and traveling with a national musical theatre tour, as well as recording industrial videos, television commercials, and radio voiceovers. She also creates handcrafted jewelry in wire, chain maille, and fused glass.

“Despite what some would have us believe, the fact remains that this nation was founded on biblical principles by people who wanted freedom to worship God and live their lives without government involvement. It’s never been more critical to fight for those rights.”


Executive Director and Co-founder

An attorney with a background in complex litigation and advocacy, Leah Wilson is passionate about children’s health and has researched and worked on child welfare issues for more than a decade.

The overmedication of children in foster care as a form of behavior management is what compelled Leah to become an advocate and foster parent. During her time as a court-appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children, Leah witnessed the rampant use of psychiatric drugs among foster kids. She also discovered that, in addition to many extensive requirements, the state had a policy that all foster children and foster families be fully vaccinated, without exception. Through her involvement in law, health and the foster care system, it became abundantly clear to Leah that the single most important issue affecting child welfare in the United States is the practice of one-size-fits-all medicine via medical mandates. This motivated Leah to expand her advocacy beyond foster care to all children nationwide and to start Stand for Health Freedom (SHF) in 2019.

A graduate of the Saint Louis University School of Law, Leah holds dual bachelor degrees in political science and Spanish from Indiana University. In addition to her advocacy work with SHF, Leah is the owner and former operations director of MaxLiving Indy, one of the largest natural health centers in the Midwest. She is also an educator on holistic health as well as a sought-after speaker on issues ranging from religious rights to greening your home.

“Parental rights and religious freedom are God-given natural rights that cannot arbitrarily be taken away by government authorities. Parents are the single most important factor in a child’s success; I stand in full support of this sacred relationship.”

Sayer JI

Director and Co-founder

Sayer Ji is a widely recognized researcher, author, lecturer, activist, and educator on natural health modalities. Among his many roles, he is an advisor to Stand for Health Freedom, a reviewer and editor of the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, an advisory board member of the National Health Federation, a steering committee member of the Global GMO Free Coalition, and the co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed Inc., a revolutionary scientific validation framework.

Most notably, Sayer is the founder of Greenmedinfo.com, the world’s most widely referenced, evidence-based natural health resource of its kind. He founded the platform in 2008 to provide an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. Today, Greenmedinfo.com has more than a million visits per month, serving as a trusted resource on myriad health and wellness topics to physicians, healthcare practitioners, clinicians, researchers and consumers worldwide.

Sayer attended Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where he studied under the notable American philosopher Dr. Bruce W. Wilshire. He received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy in 1995, with a focus on the philosophy of science. His new book, Regenerate: Unlocking Your Body’s Radical Resilience through the New Biology, was released in March 2020 and is an Amazon bestseller.

“I truly believe that education will be our greatest shield against accelerating the erosion of civil liberties, including the right to bodily sovereignty, as well as the greatest catalyst for positive change on this planet moving forward.”

Bailey Kuykendoll

Associate Director

Designer and visual marketer Bailey Kuykendoll began advocating for health and religious freedom and parental rights in 2014 after learning she was pregnant. A self-described skeptic, she’s not afraid to ask questions and do copious amounts of research to reach her own conclusions.

She’s also not afraid of hard work. As SHF’s Associate Director, Bailey truly keeps the organizational boat afloat. Working closely with our State Directors in each state, she ensures that SHF has calls-to-action for health-freedom bills and petitions on our website and across social media, spreading the word to encourage people to contact their legislators. She builds campaigns, graphics, website pages, and relationships.

Bailey earned a design degree from Harrington Institute of Design in 2008. She then served as a production assistant on several shows for HGTV, followed by working behind the scenes on the X Factor, small indie films, music videos, and documentaries. Bailey joined Health Freedom Florida after moving to the East Coast, becoming co-president of the grassroots organization in 2019. While at Health Freedom Florida, she successfully filed a state bill designed to stop discrimination based on your health status. She joined SHF in the fall of 2020.

“God placed a calling on my heart back in 2008 to be a part of something bigger for Him. Twelve years later, the opportunity came knocking to help others lean into their natural-born rights and take a stand for themselves and their families. I knew this is where I was called to be, and I have never looked back.”

Valerie Borek


Valerie Borek is a passionate advocate for health rights and family privacy. A mother of two with degrees in law and biochemistry, she is perfectly positioned to lead SHF advocates through complex health-rights policy. Her work is guided by a love for American values, uncovering truth, and a passion for empowering others. Valerie has served as SHF’s policy analyst since 2021.

Valerie’s understanding of the value of freedom to make one’s own health care choices is not just academic. Health freedom has kept her boys alive and thriving. Her choice to have home births jump-started her advocacy for health privacy. Her eldest son survived a rare and deadly cancer because her family was able to navigate medical care while holding onto values that were sometimes at odds with recommendations.

Before joining SHF, Valerie specialized in health and parenting rights at her boutique law firm, especially surrounding birth and vaccine rights. She advocated for informed consent in health care and transparent food labeling in her state. She helped found the Birth Rights Bar Association and was honored to present their argument to the Delaware Supreme Court that midwifery is not the practice of medicine, in support of a trailblazing midwife.

“Health is the foundation of how we show up in this world to love, serve, and create. Americans are blessed to live in a country that gets stronger the more we protect fundamental rights, like informed consent and privacy, so individuals and families can thrive.”

Mary Katherine LaCroix


Mary Katherine LaCroix became involved with SHF as a volunteer in 2019 when the religious exemption for childhood vaccines was at risk in her home state of New Jersey. She believes strongly that parents have the responsibility for their children’s health, education, and faith formation and that only they have the right to make medical decisions and manage their care.

She has worked in fundraising for more than 25 years at various educational, cultural, human services, and political organizations. A graduate of the University of Scranton, she holds a degree in History and English Literature.

Mary Katherine is thrilled to have this opportunity to work with and help grow SHF, believing that together we can achieve even greater impact in protecting our rights and caring for our loved ones. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children and large extended family, as well as volunteering to support the special needs community.

“Parents are taught that they must trust the experts. That’s what we did, until we learned that the experts can be wrong and don’t always know what is best for your child. Parents should instead feel empowered by their natural, God-given ability to advocate and care for their children. SHF is here to give them the tools to do just that.”

Sheila Ealey

Political Analyst

Dr. Sheila Lewis Ealey is the founder and former director of the Creative Learning Center of Louisiana, a therapeutic day school for children who are on the autism spectrum or struggling with other nonverbal intellectual disabilities. The wife of a former U.S. Coast Guard Officer, she is also the mother of four children. Her son was diagnosed with severe autism spectrum disorder at 18 months. He is now a young man and considered moderate and emerging.

Sheila and her twins were featured in the documentary “Vaxxed.” She has traveled extensively, advocating for medical freedom. She continues to educate disenfranchised parents about their fundamental rights to religious and philosophical exemptions, their ability to live sustainably on a limited budget, and the importance of nutrition and biomedical interventions for optimum health with autism. She also writes individual homeschool curriculums for parents of children with autism or intellectual disorders. Sheila is a trustee for the Autism Trust, USA, and on the board of directors of Children’s Health Defense.

Over the past 20 years, she has educated herself to use natural healing modalities for the body and brain. Her formal education includes degrees in communication, special education curriculum, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership in Special Education. Sheila serves as an assistant content advisor and political analyst for SHF.

“It is not the Constitution’s job to protect our liberties, as it is not a philosophical document but a legal one. Its purpose is to limit the powers and authority of our federal government in hopes of preventing an intrusion upon our unalienable rights. We are obliged to maintain our government within its limits.”

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