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Teacher Placed on Unpaid Leave for Defying Mandate Actually Vaccinated All Along

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A common assumption made about the pro-medical freedom crowd is that they are anti-vaccine — as in, totally opposed to the concept of vaccinations as a whole.

While there are plenty of people out there who have their doubts about vaccines — and most certainly the COVID-19 vaccine — the truth is that medical freedom is not about what anyone else does to his or her body.

Medical freedom is about just that — freedom.

It is the radical notion that what someone does or does not do to his body is entirely his business and that, in the United States of America, neither the federal government nor the states nor private employers have any right to force themselves into the middle of private decisions made by individuals and their health care providers.

This was recently — and rather poignantly — illustrated by an Illinois teacher who defied the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for teachers for months when, as it turns out, she was fully vaccinated all along.

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You see, what Kadence Koen objects to is not the vaccine itself, but the idea that her employer has the right to know whether she’s decided to take it or not.

And that, my friends, is exactly what medical freedom is all about.

Koen, a math and business teacher at Springfield’s Southeast High School, revealed on Saturday that she had provided her vaccine card to the school district, according to The State Journal-Register.

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She has been on unpaid leave over her refusal to comply with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s mandate that school personnel disclose their vaccination status or submit to regular testing, which was issued well after Koen received her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in July.

Koen said that while she was determined to take a stand against something she thought was wrong, she ultimately wanted to be reunited with her students.

“I didn’t want to have to produce a vaccination card because I don’t think that’s legal or appropriate, but if you ask me to choose between my personal beliefs and my students, my students will win,” she said.

“I can’t imagine my life not teaching.”

Koen said her refusal to inform the district of her vaccination status was “always about liberties and freedoms and medical autonomy” and that she is disappointed she wasn’t able to get the issue to the courts.

The Journal-Register noted last week that the Illinois state Senate passed a bill in late October barring teachers from citing moral beliefs as a reason to defy COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

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Music teacher Kingsley Keys has also refused to comply with Pritzker’s mandate.

He said in a statement that “this forced compliance as a condition of employment stands in stark contrast to the very impetus for informed consent and legislated medical autonomy, rights replete throughout federal and state statute, legislated to counter overreach. Historically, you’re never forced into compliance by the good guys.”

“My overarching reason to not test is the popular adage: if you leave your children a world where you never stood up, they’ll inherit a world where they can’t,” he said.

“If the type and frequency of test can be forced as a condition of employment while unilaterally changing contractual language with zero ratification or voting, then I guarantee they will not stop there.

“In this culture of increased overreach and control, aimed at controlling every heartbeat, I stand up for all Illinoisans willing to listen,” Keys said.

Koen is glad that her and Keys’ actions have “created conversation in the community.”

“I am glad it’s getting people to think,” she said. “I am glad it’s getting people to look into what’s going on.

“Whether people agree or disagree with my methods or agree or disagree with my stance, I’m glad people are talking. I’m glad people are no longer just accepting things as this is the way it has to be,” she added.

In Chicago, another battle over the right to medical freedom is taking place between a police union and Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Before a judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the city’s vaccine mandate this month, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police lodge representing Chicago officers urged members to defy the mandate by refusing to report their vaccination status to the city.

John Catanzara told Fox News last month that while he believed roughly half of Chicago police officers weren’t vaccinated, “even the ones that are, like myself, believe that a forced mandate is absolutely wrong.”

This was never about the vaccine itself.

It’s always been about the freedom of Americans to decide for themselves whether or not they want to receive it.

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Isa is a homemaker, homeschooler, and writer who lives in the Ozarks with her husband and two children. After being raised with a progressive atheist worldview, she came to the Lord as a young woman and now has a heart to restore the classical Christian view of femininity.
Isa is a homemaker, homeschooler, and writer who lives in the Ozarks with her husband and two children. After being raised with a progressive atheist worldview, she came to the Lord as a young woman and now has a heart to restore the classical Christian view of femininity.




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