Several graduates from Loyola High School are disturbed by recent anti-mask and COVID-19-related conspiracy theories shared on social media by their former teacher.
The former students said they felt compelled to speak out after the private school failed to respond to their complaints and considering the current teacher’s social media page was public.
“That’s very literally what he’s pushing, he’s saying that masks are mind control. ‘Don’t wear masks’ — it’s a terrible message to send to kids who could very well be spreading this (virus) more than anyone else,” said Ian O’Shaughnessy, who graduated from Loyola High School in 2000.
The 37-year old now works as a senior computer engineer in Silicone Valley and said he decided to file complaint with the school after first trying to “reason” with his former teacher.
“I felt I had to comment so I went and replied to some of the stuff he wrote, some of these falsehoods about wearing masks and mind control, 5G, Bill Gates and vaccinations (conspiracies), his response was pretty aggressive,” said O’Shaughnessy, adding that his comments were eventually deleted and he was blocked from the teacher’s Facebook account.
That’s when he reached out to Loyola to alert the administration.
“These are young, impressionable minds who are seeing these things and this is not a lesson that a teacher, a Montreal high school teacher, should be teaching,” O’Shaughnessy told Global News in a Skype interview from his home in California.
Another Loyola graduate from the class of 1998 was also disturbed by his former teacher’s posts.
“What worries me about this (is) he is a teacher, he has a lot of students that follow him on social media and those posts are harmful,” said Domenico Cotugno, adding that he remembers Ketterling as a well-liked and respected teacher.
“Everyone I’ve spoken to, my two brothers who also went to Loyola, have an issue with this.”
The controversial posts that date back to early July were erased late Tuesday after Global News reached out to the teacher.
While he refused our request for an interview, Michael Jarrett Ketterling insisted that he never befriended current students on his Facebook page.
“That is against my school’s policy,” he wrote. “The students you are interviewing are lying.”
The former students insist they have no ill will towards Ketterling, they just want him to stop spreading what they consider to be false and damaging information.
“I went to Loyola. I think it’s a great school; I’d love to send my sons there someday,” said Cotugno.
“That’s what’s especially saddening to me, is that they’ve taken no action to rein in this character.”
In a statement to Global News that was also sent to student’s parents on Wednesday, Loyola High School said they were “deeply concerned by the situation,” and that the posts and comments “do not reflect the beliefs, opinions, and policies of Loyola.”
The school’s administration has been in contact with the teacher and said it will “continue our inquiry into this matter.”
Conspiracy theories are nothing new, according to the director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society, but they seem to have surged during the pandemic.
“I guess people have more time sitting at home, and of course whenever we have a situation where we don’t have all of the answers and science doesn’t have all of the answers, then the pseudoscience seekers rush to fill the vacuum and this is what we’re seeing,” said Dr. Joe Schwarcz.
Schwarcz was able to view the posts and comments before they were deleted, including memes with messages like “Danger, you are being conditioned to view your freedom as selfish” and “this is a mind control device,” written over the picture of a surgical face mask.
“It’s very worrisome because educators are in a position of power and students look up to professors and teachers,” said Scwarcz. “To suggest that there’s this conspiracy to somehow keep people sick by making them wear masks I mean what can you say to that?”
Schwarcz encourages people to report such posts to Facebook.
“Facebook is trying to do some control over what’s posted,” said Scwarcz. “We do have free speech unfortunately in some cases.”
The hope now is that educators like Ketterling will stop spreading what’s seen as false and damaging information on public platforms and within the walls of the school.
“If you want to hold views that are fringe and strange you’re free to do so,” said O’Shaughnessy,. “To simply publish them for all your students to see, I actually found that to be deeply disturbing.”
Read the entire statement from Loyola High School below:
Loyola High School was notified that a member of our faculty uploaded controversial posts and comments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic to a social media platform. These posts and comments do not reflect the beliefs, opinions, and policies of Loyola.
Loyola believes that all life is sacred, and is a gift from God. Thus, reverence for life includes the desire to care for all people, especially the most vulnerable during a time of pandemic. We are a community that believes first and foremost in standing in solidarity with those in need, and providing love and support to the marginalized.
In order to accomplish this mission, Loyola follows and aims to surpass public health guidelines set by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec, CNESST, and the Public Health Agency of Canada, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We recognize that COVID-19 has the potential to cause severe illness, and public health precautions that include physical distancing, good hand hygiene, and face masks, must be followed to reduce the risk to our community. The health and safety of our students, staff, and all people, are of the highest importance. As a learning institution devoted to academic excellence and spiritual development, we value the principles of scientific research and evidence-based policy.
We encourage all community members to be responsible when sharing information on social media, and to ensure that we protect the vulnerable by sharing information regarding COVID-19 that are from reliable, credible sources, and reflect the best available evidence and public health guidance.
For the protection of young people, Loyola has a professional boundaries policy that clearly outlines that staff are not permitted to interact with students on social media. We will be reviewing and updating these guidelines to include Loyola’s denunciation of public posts that are contrary to moral principles, school policy, public health directives, or that in any way compromise the formation and development of young people.
We are deeply concerned by this situation, and we are committed to taking it seriously. When we became aware of this situation, we immediately contacted the former students who expressed concern, and we have been in contact with the faculty member in question. We will continue our inquiry into this matter.
As a community we continue to pray for all those who have been affected by the pandemic.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Media Beat: August 13, 2020 | FYIMusicNews – FYI Music News
Five northern community broadband projects in the N.W.T., Yukon and northern Manitoba will share in $72 million of Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) Broadband Fund money.
According to a press release from the CRTC Wednesday, the projects are designed to improve broadband internet service for about 10,100 households in 51 communities.
The CRTC will dedicate $750 million to projects that improve broadband services in rural and remote communities over the next five years. Many communities in the North rely on slower satellite data connections for internet service. – Anna Desmarais, CBC News
Honourees include Sir Anthony Hopkins, Kate Winslet, film director Chloé Zhao (Songs My Brother Taught Me and The Rider), and filmmaker Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake, Queen of Katwe and Salaam Bombay!). The one-hour tribute show will be broadcast Sept. 15 on CTV and its affiliated platforms and globally streamed by Variety.
Prior to the pandemic, 75% of workers commuted by private vehicle, 13% used public transit, 7% walked or cycled to work and about 1% used another mode of transportation. Fewer than 1 in 20 workers teleworked (4%).
Although private vehicles remain the most common mode of commuting since the onset of the pandemic, its share has declined from 75% to 67% in June. The decrease in the proportion of workers using public transit was even more pronounced, falling from 13% to 3% of workers—half the rate of those who walked or bicycled to work (6%). In June, 22% of Canadians were working from home and slightly less than 2% were using another mode of transportation.
One reason for the decline in private vehicle and public transit use may be attributable to the more than a five-fold increase (from 4% to 22%) in Canadians working from home since the onset of the pandemic. – StatsCan
Sumner (Murray Rothstein) Redstone, the hard-charging mogul who parlayed his father’s New England drive-in theatre business into a media empire that now flows into virtually every avenue of entertainment, has died. He was 97.
Redstone was the controlling shareholder of the recently merged ViacomCBS — and previously CBS Corp. and Viacom — who made famous the mantra “content is king.”
Forbes estimated his net worth at US$3B in 2019.
– Pat O’Day (born Paul W. Berg in Norfolk, Nebraska) whose voice was well known for decades throughout Seattle as a disc jockey and an announcer at the Seafair races, has died at 85.
He passed away at his home in the San Juan Islands, his son Jeff O’Day wrote in a Facebook post.
At one time, Pat O’Day owned the afternoon airwaves, averaging 35% of the after-school and drive-time audience at a time when traffic was growing dramatically. The teenage car culture was in its heyday. Around the time the Lake City branch of the legendary Dick’s Drive-In opened in 1963, O’Day’s listenership peaked at 41%. And his company, Concerts West, was one of the major concert-booking agents in the nation.
According to Wikipedia, almost everything known (published) about Pat O’Day’s work in the radio and live music concert businesses can be found in O’Day’s autobiography, It Was All Just Rock-‘n’-Roll II: A Return to the Center of the Radio & Concert Universe.
His story was featured in a 2015 documentary about radio DJs called I Am What I Play, directed by Roger King.
Personas Social Surpasses 50,000 Social Media Followers TSX Venture Exchange:PRSN – GlobeNewswire
TORONTO, Aug. 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Personas Social Incorporated (TSX.V: PRSN) (OTCQB: PKSLF) (the “Company”) is pleased to report that the successful launch of its social media brand awareness program.
The Personas.com video conferencing service provides its customers with a feature rich low-cost video conferencing platform. The Company launched its Personas social media brand awareness program on August 4th, 2020. The Company is proud to announce that as of Wednesday August 12th, 2020 the Personas.com service had accumulated more than 63,000 social media followers. Much larger videoconferencing companies, such as Zoom have fewer followers on the same social media sites. This is due in part to Personas intentionally targeting to the newly evolved and underserved home user video conferencing market. Whereas, most of our competitors offer primarily corporate video conferencing services; Personas offers a video conferencing platform that can be used to run a wide variety of purposes including running a variety of home businesses.
The Company is marketing it services in concert with social media influencers who have a large social media footprint in specific geographies and language groups. In preparation for the marketing campaign the Company implemented multi-lingual support for both its website and customer service department. The company’s initial marketing campaign targeted the country of Brazil and Portuguese speaking social media users. The company will launch similar campaigns targeting other languages and other geographies.
Personas can be found online at www.personas.com.
For further information, please contact:
Personas Social Incorporated
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Forward Looking Statements
This press release includes statements that may constitute “forward-looking” statements, usually containing the words “believe,” “estimate,” “project,” “expect”, “plan”, “intend”, “anticipates”, “projects”, “potential” or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements inherently involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations are risks detailed from time to time in the filings made by the Company with securities regulations. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company will update or revise publicly any of the included forward-looking statements as expressly required by Canadian securities law.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) has reviewed or accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this Release.
Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai calls for ‘patient’ democracy fight after release
Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai said on Thursday he was overwhelmed by the support he got after becoming the most high-profile person to be arrested under a new national security law and urged patience in a “long-term fight” for democracy.
Lai, a staunch supporter of the city’s democracy movement, was arrested on Monday on suspicion of collusion with foreign forces as police raided the offices of his Apple Daily tabloid.
He was released on bail early on Wednesday, and greeted by a throng of supporters chanting “fight till the end”.
In a #LiveChatWithJimmy video appearance on Twitter, Lai thanked his supporters and said their action showed the police raid was a “violation of Hong Kong people’s belief” in wide-ranging freedoms, which he likened to oxygen.
“The oxygen is getting thin, and we are all choking, but when we’re choking we’re still taking care of each other and keep resisting and keep fighting for our rule of law and freedom,” he said.
Lai, who China sees as a “traitor”, was arrested under a new security law imposed by Beijing on June 30 in response to a year of pro-democracy unrest in the former British colony, which returned to China in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” formula aimed at preserving its autonomy.
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, fuelled by fears Beijing has been eroding city freedoms, has enjoyed and sustained broad support in the city.
Lai said pro-democracy activists had to play a long game.
“We cannot be radical, we cannot confront them face-to-face because we’re just like an egg and they are a high wall,” he said.
“We have to flexible, and innovative and patient, but persist.”
The law punishes whatever China considers subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.
Critics say the law brings semi-autonomous Hong Kong closer to mainland China’s authoritarianism, while its supporters say it will bring stability to the city and safeguard its prosperity.
Since Lai’s arrest people have been queuing up early in the morning to buy his Apple Daily, and many have also bought shares in Next Digital, Lai’s media company that publishes his newspaper, sparking a rally of more than 2,000% at its peak.
Lai called the rise in share price an “ephemeral phenomenon” and urged people “not to touch it”.
Source:- Global News
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