Tell Your Officials To Say No To Mandating The CDC’s COVID-19 School Guidelines. They’re Not Evidence-Based And They Hurt Students And Learning!

Published: Jun 23, 2020

Our Stand

  • The Illinois State Board of Education is in the process of planning and implementing their statewide recommendations for opening schools in the fall.
  • In May 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a 60-page document with guidance and initiatives for opening America up again. The document provides detailed guidelines for keeping communities safe and resuming peer-to-peer learning. The CDC also published information on its website outlining ways in which schools can help protect students, teachers, administrators and staff to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • The CDC is advising schools, in collaboration with state and local health officials, to determine “whether and how to implement these considerations while adjusting to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community.” The agency’s numerous recommendations and guidelines include:
    • Mandatory masks or cloth face coverings for anyone over the age of two, including special needs students and those with IEPs.
    • Maintaining adequate distance on school buses, with one child per seat and every other row occupied.
    • Staggered school arrival and departure times for students to limit exposure to other peers.
    • One-way routes in hallways as well as tape on sidewalks and walls to ensure that kids stay six feet apart.
    • Daily health and temperature checks.
    • Avoiding personal contact with others (such as shaking hands, holding hands, hugging or kissing).
    • Placing desks six feet apart and having all desks face the same direction.
    • Installing sneeze guards and partitions wherever desks can’t be spaced six feet apart.
    • No sharing of any items or supplies, with all belongings placed in individual cubbies or labeled containers (this means no sharing of electronic devices, toys, games, learning aids, etc.).
    • No communal shared spaces such as cafeterias, playgrounds, etc., which would mean no recess or sports.
    • Physical barriers or screens placed between sinks in bathrooms.
    • Only pre-packaged boxes or bags of food instead of cafeteria food; children are to eat meals in their classrooms.
    • No field trips, assemblies or external organizations in the schools; volunteers and visitors will be limited.
    • The same children will stay with the same staff all day. There will be no switching groups or teachers. (This means that children will not be able to utilize specialists and switch from their home room to the art room, music room, library, etc.).
    • Frequent hand washing by students and staff throughout the day.
    • Increased cleaning, disinfecting and ventilating of school facilities throughout the day.
  • According to the World Health Organization, the spread and transmission of the coronavirus from an asymptomatic carrier is “rare.” Additionally, children are not at high risk from COVID-19 and it’s generally much less severe — and common — for this age group. As such, the current data does not merit the dramatic response being proposed for schools.
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health generally follows the CDC’s guidelines. If the State of Illinois adheres to the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines/considerations, it will add significant financial burdens to our schools while creating an environment that’s damaging to both students and teachers.
  • It's time to make your voice heard! Take action TODAY by sending a pre-drafted, customizable email to your elected officials, including U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Illinois State Board of Education and its superintendent, Carmen Ayala. When you are done, please share this important campaign with your friends, family and neighbors.

Have A Question?

Parents have profound concerns over the guidance, initiatives and considerations for opening schools published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in May 2020. Very simply, they create a restricted learning environment that promotes isolation of children from their peers while forcing healthy individuals to wear a mask. Implementing these recommendations would not only destroy schools financially, it would prevent special needs programs from effectively providing services. Autism-related programs where children need to be encouraged to interact with others will not be able to operate with social distancing measures in place. Services such as speech therapy and occupational therapy would be greatly impacted by an inability to see the movement of the mouth or to physically guide a student for fine motor instruction. Social distancing and wearing cloth face coverings day-in and day-out, especially for all younger children in their formative years, will leave psychological and social damage that will undoubtedly last for years.

Furthermore, these measures will cause families who are unwilling to expose their children to these forms of social isolation to consider homeschooling or to leave their employment to support their child’s educational needs. A loss of enrollment will cause further financial loss to our schools, which have already taken a blow from the economic shutdown.

Most importantly, to date there are no studies or cases of documented asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19, and the World Health Organization recently confirmed that asymptomatic transmission is “rare.” It has also been noted that children and individuals outside of at-risk categories have little to no chance of risk from COVID-19 complications. The latest data demonstrates that the COVID-19 case fatality rate is at 0.26%, which is akin to a bad seasonal flu — and significantly below the original estimates of a 4% to 10% fatality rate (source:

In her June 18, 2020 ‘Update to Schools’ letter, Illinois State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen Ayala stated (source:, “Having been a district superintendent in Illinois, I understand the urgency of getting clarity and direction out to all of you as quickly as possible. At the same time, the stakes have never been higher for our guidance to adhere to the best and most current science and data. Meeting this standard has meant deep collaboration with public health experts.”

However, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Office of the Governor have not confirmed and have been unable to produce ANY findings from the CDC to support the theory that (a) healthy people wearing cloth face coverings prevents the spread of illness; (b) forced separation of individuals slows transmission; and (c) asymptomatic transmission of illness occurs. In other words, there is NO evidence or scientific data to support that the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health have based their guidelines on science or medical evidence. Thus, these guidelines/considerations, on which Governor Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education are basing their guidance, are founded on inconclusive assumptions with NO reputable peer-reviewed studies to support them.

Clearly, the data that is now available does not merit the dramatic response being proposed for schools.

It’s time to make your voice heard now! Take action below by emailing your elected officials, including the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the Illinois State Board of Education and its Superintendent, Dr. Carmen Ayala. Let them know that the CDC’s guidelines are not evidence-based and hurt learning.

If you have a personal perspective to share as a teacher, student, parent or concerned citizen, please add it to the top section above the provided message. You can also edit the subject line and the pre-drafted message as needed. Additionally, if these measures would cause you to pull your child from the Illinois school system — or if you are a school employee considering leaving your position as a result of the measures — be sure to mention that in your message.

Note: For more detailed information, please consult:

CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and the President’s Plan for Opening Up Again

CDC Considerations for Schools

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, 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, 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 Relationship Manager, Bailey truly keeps the organizational boat afloat. Working closely with health freedom advocates in each state, she ensures that SHF has campaigns for health-freedom-related 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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