Rantz: Boys and Girls Club coordinator wishes COVID hospitalization, ‘endless tests’ on kids

Nov 3, 2021, 6:30 PM | Updated: Nov 4, 2021, 9:35 am
A "prone team," wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), turns a COVID-19 patient onto his stomach in a Stamford Hospital intensive care unit. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

A Skagit County Boys and Girls Club program coordinator wished COVID on kids so that their parents would take the vaccination more seriously.

Fern Laurel Sisana was placed on administrative leave after the youth nonprofit became aware of the “concerning social media post.” On Facebook, Sisana said: “If you are anti-vaccination, I hope your child gets sick.” She even wished the children would end up in a hospital to undergo “endless tests” while the parent feels “absolutely helpless.”

The post went viral after someone who discovered the post questioned whether or not this is the type of person who should work with kids.

Unhinged rant concerned a community

Sisana posted the original screed on Sept. 13, and it’s unclear how or why it was suddenly discovered. But last week, it started to spread after one mother posted it as an example of why she says she pulled her kids out of the Boys and Girls Club in Sedro Woolley.

“If you are anti-vaccination, I hope your child gets sick. I hope that they end up in the hospital, with doctors walking in and out of their room, as endless tests are run, and you are stuck sitting there — absolutely helpless,” Sisana wrote, according to a screenshot posted online.

But the ranting gets considerably more unhinged.

“I hope your fear eats you alive, and your guilt becomes unbearable thinking of the ways you failed to protect your children,” she wrote. “And just when you think you can’t go on anymore — when you’ve accepted that your child will die in pain, afraid of what is happening somewhere that feels far away from any warmth or home or safety I want a doctor to sit you down and explain your child will live: but the whole thing could have been avoided if you had vaccinated.”

Sisana wrote that she doesn’t think unvaccinated parents should have kids.

Boys and Girls Club weighs in

After a weekend’s worth of sharing the post, parents and community members say they contacted the Skagit County Boys and Girls Club. They wanted to to express concern. How could an employee who works with teens at the club be trusted if she wishes such horrific things on a child?

The CEO of the county club, Ron McHenry, says he took swift action. He also distanced the organization from the screed.

“The safety and protection of the young people we serve are always our highest priorities, and we take any situation that might impact their well-being very seriously. Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County is aware of a concerning social media post recently made by an employee. The sentiment conveyed in the post in no way reflect the beliefs or values of Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County, and this individual has been placed on administrative leave pending further review of this incident,” McHenry said in a statement to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

Sisana did not respond to a request for comment.

Is this an example of cancel culture?

Sisana’s post is objectively deranged. But is this a case of cancel culture? I don’t think so. I generally don’t want to see someone fired for protected speech.

It’s fair to use content like this as a means to question someone’s judgment or character. This wasn’t a post from a decade ago. It came a month ago. It tells you the type of person she is right now. Perhaps some of the pushback will help change the direction she’s going.

A reasonable person can understand why someone else is upset with the unvaccinated. Maybe they are angry themselves. But this employee — who listed her job as a program coordinator for teens — oversees the very young people she wants to see hospitalized to send a message to parents. It’s understandable to question whether or not she can responsibly be around kids.

Sisana has no clue about the risk of COVID to kids. They’re among the least likely to die or be hospitalized due to COVID unless they have a significant underlying health condition. But she talks about the vaccine as if it’s the only thing that can possibly keep a kid or teen out of the hospital or the morgue.

What about the teens?

As concerning: What kind of proselytizing is being done when the parent isn’t around?

If this is how she treats unvaccinated parents, how do you think she treats unvaccinated teens at the Boys and Girls Club? I would assume she’d pressure teens into vaccines, even if their doctor told them to wait. And if she can’t get them to change their minds, how would she treat them?

Should Sisana be fired? I wouldn’t go that far. She should hear why this is inappropriate content to post online and how it severely impacts how she is viewed within the Boys and Girls Club.

I’m fine assuming her unhinged view comes from passion about an issue she doesn’t understand. A quick perusal of her Facebook profile suggests she’s likely not going to change. But people with views I disagree with still get to have jobs if they’re willing to keep them from impacting colleagues or the company itself. If she doesn’t change after a warning, assuming this is the first one, then a termination could be more appropriate.

Did you like this opinion piece? Then listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Parler, and like me on Facebook

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Rantz: Boys and Girls Club coordinator wishes COVID hospitalization, ‘endless tests’ on kids