School Board Member Compares Untested Kids to People Wielding Knives

School Board Member Compares Untested Kids to People Wielding Knives
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Are you COVID-tested, or are you wielding a knife? The two may be mutually exclusive, judging from statements by a Chicago-area school board member.

As relayed by North Cook News, Marcelo Sztaingberg is on the board for the Glenbrook 225 district.

At a January 10th meeting, he managed a metaphor for those neglecting to get nasal-swabbed before school:

“If a student shows up with a knife to school, we won’t let him in.”

It’s a bold comparison  — stabbings aren’t known for their 99+% survival rate.

Regardless, Marcelo’s no schmo off the street. In addition to belonging to the board, he’s associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at Northeastern Illinois University.

The board meeting followed an opting-out of COVID testing by roughly 600 students at Glenbrook North High and Glenbrook South High.

The district needs to decide how to handle those who declined.

Courtesy of NCW:

Glenbrook 225 returned to remote learning in early January amid spiking COVID-19 rates. At the same time the school held “no harm” finals, allowing for its students’ grades to improve if they scored well on the final exam but enacting no penalties if students did poorly.

Marcelo also likened the untested to drunks:

“If a student shows up under the influence, we won’t let him in.”

It’s not the first COVID-related intoxication analogy to hit the news.

As I covered January 24th, Penn State Professor Edward Fuller tweeted a mouthful:

“Why is it a parent’s right to endanger the lives of other people’s kids and of teachers? Maybe [people] wearing masks should just drive drunk and speed [through] the neighborhoods of pro-COVID parents as a way to excise [sic] their freedom and rights.”

Restating the stats from that article:

Consider survival stats from the Centers for Disease Control at the end of 2020, before the public had been offered what was labeled a vaccine:

  • 0-19 years: 99.99997
  • 20-49 years: 99.9998
  • 50-69 years: 99.995
  • 70+ years: 99.946

More from Marcelo:

“There are so many issues for which we won’t let the student in and won’t even think about it. This would be immediate. We had, in the past, situations where security officers were walking on [sic] the parking lot and seeing something suspicious in a car — in an empty car in the parking lot — and they would open the car to make sure things were okay. We do these things all the time, even if it’s 50 cars. For some reason, with COVID, we decided to draw the line, to erase the line. Now, basically, no matter what…we say we won’t do it.

He’s right — in some ways, we’ve drawn lines. However, for kids, the virus reportedly isn’t as dangerous as the flu. And we’ve never masked or tested children for influenza.

Marcelo made clear he doesn’t “want to suspend anybody.”


“Why is the district pushing people to take a risk sitting with people who won’t take any mitigation? … [W]e are forcing…staff teachers…to be sitting next to [the untested/unvaccinated]. So at what point do we say this may not be safe?”

It seems to me the bigger question is this: When do we stop? Presumably, COVID will be with us forever. Do we, then, forever test?

If so, every establishment in the world should shove something up your nose before allowing entrance.

Perhaps that’s where we’re headed.

As we await that dystopia of medical weapon-wielders stabbing our sinuses, at least be of good cheer:



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