HomeOpinionLetters to the editorLetter: UF Health doctors’ emails show their belief that parents are a threat, contributions show they hope to retain their influence
Letter: UF Health doctors’ emails show their belief that parents are a threat, contributions show they hope to retain their influence
July 18, 2022
Last week, I sent a Letter to the Editor about UF/UF Health’s influence over the Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS) Scientific Medical Advisory Board (SMAC) and documented how the school board, school district employees, and SMAC violated Florida Sunshine laws, which guarantee public scrutiny for advisory committees. I found more public records that I think the public has a right to know about, and this is an addendum to the original letter.
These public records indicate that high-profile doctors in our community wanted to make sure parents who dared disagree with them were intimidated by an increased security presence at school board meetings; there was also at least one ethics violation that came to light.
On Aug 2, 2021, at 9:11 p.m., Dr. Adrienne Mott-Young of UF Health wrote to Dr. Carlee Simon (ACPS Superintendent at the time); Dr. Desmond Schatz, UF Professor and Interim Chair of Pediatrics; Amit Rawal with HCA Florida North Florida Regional Hospital; and Casey Hamilton, ACPS District Security Chief:
Hello, I was just informed that the proud boys attended a board meeting in Palm Beach and tried to intimidate people and made a lot of noise. Are there any reinforcements or security measures in place for the board meeting tomorrow just in case?
Then-Superintendent Carlee Simon replied back almost immediately:
Date : 8/2/2021 9:19:41 PM From : “Carlee Simon” To : “Mott-Young,Adrienne H” Cc : “Schatz,Desmond A” , “Amit Rawal” , “Casey Hamilton” Subject : Re: Concern for tomorrow We will be at the county building with ASO at the doors. We will alert our team to our needs. Casey will help with strategies and suggestions. Best, Carlee
Dr. Desmond Schatz made sure to write back with his encouragement to have increased security at school board meetings to protect the doctors from parents and said it showed real leadership:
On Aug 2, 2021, at 9:24 p.m., Dr. Desmond Schatz wrote:
I just saw your email. Kudos. I will mention that in my address. That’s real leadership. You listen. Des
UF employees have strict guidelines when they serve in Outside Activities roles. When any employee uses a UFL email and represents the university, UF policy states: “University Employees’ primary professional obligation is to act in the best interest of the University and to maintain the highest ethical and professional standards. A University Employee’s Outside Activities or interests must not conflict, or appear to conflict, with their professional obligations to the University of Florida.”
By August 7, 2021, the State and the University had explicit policies against forced masking, evidenced by the governor’s executive order to ban their forced use in schools, a Florida Department of Health emergency rule safeguarding parental rights, and State University System guidance that led to masks being “expected” but not required on UF campus.
On August 17, Dr. Adrienne Mott-Young improperly used her UFL email to ask nearly every pediatrician in town (more than 75 pediatricians and practices received the email) to show up to support UF doctors who were encouraging the school board to violate the governor’s executive order. This email from Dr. Mott-Young’s UFL account was an informal intimidation tactic, signaling that these doctors should fall in line with her views on masking children in school.
Subject: School board meeting tonight
The next school board meeting is tonight at 6 PM to discuss extending the mask mandate. Tuesday, August 17, 2021 at 6 p.m. The school board was extremely receptive to the medical providers at the last meeting and implored us to return tomorrow night. For all that are available, we would love to have you with us. The location is the Alachua County Administration building ( 12 SE 1st St, Gainesville, Fl 32601), tentatively 6-8, but the previous meeting did go beyond this time. > > Here is a link to the agenda: > http://go.boarddocs.com/fl/alaco/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=C5CNS8611944
Thanks again for all your support!!! Adrienne Mott-Young [Emphasis added]
The ethical breach was pointed out by Tim Marden in a message to all the recipients of the original email:
Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 2021 Subject: When facts don’t matter
Dr. Adrienne Mott-Young has solicited you through UF email this morning at 8:19am, to come to the School Board meeting tonight. This is a questionable solicitation coming through a public University email system.
When Mott-Young’s email (which may have violated Sunshine Laws, as the topic was related to SMAC business and there were other members of SMAC on the list) was leaked to the community, it seemed to upset those who sent it to only rally those who wanted to force masks on children, against the executive order. It’s clear that Dr. Desmond Schatz was only concerned that the leaked email had provided time to organize “counter” demonstrations, and he demanded that the district increase security.
On Aug 17, 2021, at 11:54 AM, Schatz,Desmond A wrote:
I just heard a counter demonstration is being planned. Will need security.
Des Desmond Schatz MD Professor and Interim Chair of Pediatrics Medical Director, Diabetes Institute University of Florida College of Medicine
Mott-Young quickly admitted she was wrong to use her UFL email but was primarily concerned with increasing school security:
On Tue, Aug 17, 2021 at 12:32 PM Mott-Young, Adrienne H wrote: Sorry, I didn’t realize I shouldn’t have used UF email to inform colleagues of the meeting. I truly didn’t even think about it. Thanks for the feedback. Will keep it in mind for the future. How concerned should we be for tonight, security-wise? Thanks, Adrienne
There have been major ethical violations from the University of Florida, UF Health, and ACPS, who worked together to conspire against citizens in this district. These same doctors, and others who spoke for UF Health at school board meetings, are now financially donating to the campaign of District 5 school board candidate Prescott Cowles. Here are the details of their political donations to his campaign:
May 31: Dr. Desmond Schatz – $108 May 31: Dr. Michael Lauzardo – $100 June 3: Dr. Adrienne Mott-Young – $100 June 14: Dr. Kathleen Ryan – $300
These doctors worked with Cowles in his role as the COVID Response Coordinator at ACPS during this time period. These donations give the appearance of financially rewarding the person who coordinated secret meetings that violated Florida Sunshine laws and advocated for the district to violate Florida Department of Health and Florida Department of Education policies on masking and parental rights. This gives the impression that the doctors of UF/UF Health plan to continue their overreach with Cowles as a trusted school board member, resuming their reign over our community.
Stefanie Stanton, Gainesville
The opinions expressed by letter or opinion writers are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AlachuaChronicle.com. Letters may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org and are published at the discretion of the editor.
Please log in again.
The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.