The Cobb County School District response to a request for their reaction to the SPLC statement

coronavirus imposed on Cobb County School District signagePhoto by Larry Johnson composited with public domain image from the CDC (created by LFJ)

The Southern Poverty Law Center distributed a statement critical of the Cobb County School District’s (CCSD) failure to follow CDC recommendations on protocols for slowing the spread of COVID-19 among students. (We’ve reprinted that statement at the bottom of this article).

The SPLC indicated in the statement that they are considering legal action against the CCSD.

The Courier reached out to the school district, Cobb school board Chairman Randy Scamihorn, and Superintendent Chris Ragsdale, requesting their reaction to the SPLC statement.

At this time there has been no response from Chairman Scamihorn or Superintendent Ragsdale, but a district spokesperson provided the following statement:

“In accordance with a recently issued administrative order by the GADPH, Cobb’s updated Public Health Protocols are intended to balance the importance of in-person learning and the frequent changes associated with COVID-19, along with the concerns from our community. As our protocols indicate, CCSD strongly encourages everyone in our community to wear masks, but we also believe that our families have the right to make decisions that work best for them.”

The SPLC statement

Here is the SPLC statement distributed Friday August 27:

COBB COUNTY, Ga. – Today, Cobb County Schools, Georgia’s second largest school district, which is responsible for more than 100,000 students each year, reported that the number of COVID-19 cases in their school district increased by nearly 60% in a week. Yet, the district still does not require students and staff to wear facemasks and comply with other CDC guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. Parents and more than 250 local doctors have expressed concerns about the district’s failure to protect students and school personnel.  

The following statement is from Mike Tafelski, senior supervising attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s children’s rights practice group.  

“We are dismayed to see the number of positive COVID-19 cases in schools continue to rise dramatically week by week. Cobb County’s exceedingly high transmission rates could have been avoided with better leadership. At this point, it can only be described as deliberate indifference on the part of Superintendent Ragsdale, Board Chair Scamihorn, and certain other elected school board members who refused to even discuss this health emergency at the most recent school board meeting. Enough is enough.  

“The district’s total disregard for CDC recommendations and the lives of their students, families, and employees puts the entire Cobb County community at risk.  

“We have received numerous calls from families who are terrified for their children in Cobb County Schools, particularly families of children with disabilities and other medically vulnerable children, because the Superintendent and certain Board members have failed to take seriously this local and national health crisis.  These parents face an impossible choice: send their children to school and risk their exposure to a life-threatening virus or keep them home and risk truancy charges and more missed instructional time without support. 

“Many of the families who have contacted the SPLC are disenrolling their children from Cobb County Schools because the risk is too great. Community members and nearly 250 local physicians are calling on Superintendent Ragsdale and certain members of the Board to act, but they are putting politics over the lives of children. 

“Cobb County is not only failing to protect these students, but actively creating danger for them through its failure to follow science and evidence-based practices.  

“We stand ready to advocate for Cobb County children and families if local elected government officials will not do so. But it is our hope that Cobb County Schools will do the right thing now and use the millions of dollars it received to protect these students and ensure a safe in-person learning experience for all.”  

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5 Comments on "The Cobb County School District response to a request for their reaction to the SPLC statement"

  1. The percent you show is false. There is not a 60% increase. I would like to see the numbers you are pulling to get that information. I’m tracking the positive Covid cases for Cobb County and the week ending on August 20th had 936 positive cases and the week ending on August 27th had 1026 positive cases. That is an increase of 9.6%. Overall the total percent of positive cases for the week ending August 27th is only 0.92%. That is the math if you use 111,000 students and staff. Please stop false reporting!

    • I don’t know if you’re gaslighting on purpose, with the realization that most people won’t read numeric Gish Gallops, or if you just didn’t read carefully enough to see what the “nearly 60 percent increase” stood for.

      The figures came directly from the CCSD, and the percentage increase between 1764 and 2797 is 58.5601 percent. In other words “nearly 60 percent,” (rounded it’s 59 percent).

  2. I am VERY happy to hear that someone is doing something to protect our kids! 3 out of 4 of my kids have been exposed to covid since the beginning of school. One of my kids actually got Covid last week and I had to pull all of my kids out of school for quarantine. It is not fair that I’m supposed to send my kids to school when I do not feel like they are being protected! Thank you to everyone who is stepping up!

  3. The SPLC is a racist anti Christian anti American communist org. Why would anyone care what these misfits think. They want people to be divided and hate each other. They have been investigated and they are stashing money overseas. They are whacko

  4. Maybe the best thing SPLC can do is help with the recall process of Scramahorn.

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