COVID-19: No Social Distancing and Masks Absent at Sebastian Middle School, Indian River County FL Pep Rally?

Drive by

On Friday evening, May 1st, 2020 all schools, departments, and District staff School of Indian River County (SDIRC) gathered at the Indian River Mall for a “Drive By and Say Hi Pep Rally.”  Schools had their school spirit on display and invited SDIRC families to drive through the mall loop by to see their principals, teachers, and other staff members who missed them so much!

The pep rally idea that all district schools participated in was not without merit.

However, Sebastian River Middle School administrations did not take proper precautions to ensure the health and safety of participants.


Subtle pressure was applied on teachers to attend the pep rally at a virtual faculty meeting.

In subsequent emails, both one of the Assistant Principals, Michele Holmes, and Principal Todd Racine assumed that most of the teachers would be attending.  SRMS has 62 classroom teachers and roughly 23 support staff.  Those in the photo below are the only ones who showed up for a variety of reasons including social distancing.

Didn’t Mr. Racine’s staff treat public health concerns flippantly, as evidenced below, and need to be held accountable publicly, as we are doing now.  It was their job to ensure the below did NOT happen; yet there they are smiling, masks off, without social distancing as if they’re immune from catching and spreading the virus.

We advocate for social justice.

 Is this a liability to the District’s public perception of the District itself and shouldn’t community members have concerns about the example this sets for students.  Either we’re following scientists’ and public officials’ advisories regarding social distancing and masks, or we aren’t.



Top (L-R):
Todd Racine, Principal (No mask) — Banner — James Thimmer, Assistant Principal (Mask)
Bottom (L-R):
Jackqueline Farina, School Nurse (Mask) / No social distancing / Professional medical licensing concerns?
Ms. Johnson, Support Facilitator (No Mask)
Tracy Santiago, Language Arts Teacher (No Mask)
Marie Taglione, Head Guidance Counselor (Mask)
Mary Elin Barr, Drama and Reading Teacher (No Mask, arms around those on either side)
Michelle Holmes, Assistant Principal and Social Media Coordinator (No Mask)
Patti Schultz, Science Teacher (No Mask)
Tricia Perakes – Science Teacher (No Mask)
Unknown, (No Mask)
Harvey Lee, Behavior Support Specialist (Mask)

3 thoughts on “COVID-19: No Social Distancing and Masks Absent at Sebastian Middle School, Indian River County FL Pep Rally?

  1. During the week of April 24-April 30 exactly ONE new case of COVID-19 was reported in all of Indian River County.

    Being outdoors on a sunny day (COVID-19 is killed by UV light in sunlight) in a county that experienced just one new case in the prior week is a lower risk than going to school during an influenza season.

    When deaths from influenza, heart disease, cancer, stroke, et al, that are being tagged as COVID-19 deaths when the deceased is SUSPECTED of having had COVID-19 (as directed by the CDC) is a purposeful attempt to keep the deaths number as high as possible.

    When the frenzy has passed and some sharp graduate students look at the data and estimate the number of deaths that would normally have been attributed to influenza, heart disease, et al, but were incorrectly attributed to COVID-19 during the pandemic, those deaths will be subtracted from the COVID-19 exaggerated figure, and we’ll have a far more accurate and less deadly view of COVID-19.

    Should “at risk” populations take extra precautions? Yes, but that is very much based on the local environment. Areas in southeast Florida that account for a huge portion of Florida’s (low) number of cases require more care when venturing out. Areas with a very low number of infections should be able to resume normal activities for those who are not at risk.

    When compounded with the growing estimate (from antibody testing) of number of people who were infected but never reported, the better estimate of COVID-19 deaths will yield the true death rate for COVID-19 which is likely to be in the vicinity of 0.1% or less. Typical for an influenza season.

    High school students and teachers not in an “at risk” category should be able to get back to a normal life, and getting outdoors in the sunshine for the photo at the top of this article constitutes little risk to anyone involved.

    It could be worse.

    Lunacy has taken over at the Governor’s office in Maine where the stay at home order was extended through May without authorization by the Legislature.

    Governing executives need to learn that an Executive Order has NO FORCE in law UNLESS it is supported by an act of the Legislature. Just as a Federal E.O. has no force in law if it isn’t issued pursuant to an existing Federal Law. We live in a dangerous age when a State or Federal chief executive tries to create law out of thin air by issuing Executive Orders with no underlying law to give them the power of enforcement.

    Consider the situation in rural Maine, with a population density of 43 per square mile. In contrast, Indian River County’s population density is nearly six times higher (255/sq mi).

    As of yesterday, Maine had reported a total of 1135 cases with 57 deaths. Three built-up areas account for 841 of those cases and 40 of the deaths (74% of cases and 70% of deaths). The rest of Maine is very rural with scattered villages and small towns with few cases of COVID-19. Yet, as in many other states with foolish government leaders, a “one size fits all” approach is destroying lives in rural Maine. Small businesses are closed, many may never reopen. People’s lives are being crushed. For what?

    The over-reaction to hyped up statistics fed by grossly inaccurate computer models seems to be a new way to stampede the citizens into foolish en masse over-reactions. Think “climate change.”

    One-size fits all is a horrible way to govern. Thankfully, Florida has a governor who understands that.

  2. Really? Don’t you have anything better to report on? And as for Mr. Webster. You are so wrong on so many things, why expect common sense from you now? Your interpretation of the facts and statistics is ludicrous. Just wait and see.

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