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Great Barrington man with unscientific claims barred from speaking at school meeting

Aug 27, 2021 1:02 pm

Heather Bellow reports in the Berkshire Eagle that one man who wanted to spout misinformation about students wearing masks was blocked Aug. 26 from speaking on an online meeting of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District’s School Committee. Great Barrington resident Dattatreya Haynes had emailed the committee with his views earlier, and they do not align with current scientific theories about mask wearing. “I think we all anticipate that what we are about to hear is the use of this forum to propagate an absurd disinformation campaign that has been trolling on social media for a year,” said school committee member Richard Dohoney. But Haynes said that he had a right to speak for three minutes. Instead, Chair Stephen Bannon adjourned the meeting. “It is the will of the chairman to decide whether the public is going to speak and your email spoke for yourself,” Bannon said. The school district doesn't have any say on the matter anyway, as the state has ordered the mask mandate. Haynes says the mandate may violate the Nuremberg Code, which was set up after Nazi's experimented on humans during World War II. The mask mandate, on the other hand, is meant to preserve human life, protecting citizens from a global pandemic. Haynes claim that making children wear masks is an “oxygen deprivation medical experiment” is debunked by the American Pediatric Association which says they are safe for children. “Masks will not affect your child’s ability to focus or learn in school,” says the APA’s blog. “The vast majority of children age 2 or older can safely wear face masks for extended periods of time, such as the school day or at child care. This includes children with many medical conditions.” “This is crazy, crazy stuff,” committee member Richard Dohoney said about the claims made by Haynes. Read more about this story in the Berkshire Eagle.