Glenn Richard Bergstø 03.08.22
Translated by Erik Strand 18.08.22
When skepticism and medical autonomy is extremism, conformity and obedience becomes the only thing normal.
Which messages have we sent the children?
It is getting harder and harder to be different, to have one’s own opinions, one’s own belief and being an individual. Plurality has to be removed in the name of truth and tolerance. Deviations from ‘facts’ and ‘the normal’ is extremism and dangerous, and has to be fought. The schools do not teach our children how to learn more, to explore the world, to be curious, or to be themselves. They learn to memorize what is ‘right and wrong’.
Whether our schools teach children enough useful things and whether they influence chldren too much with biased ideology, has for a long time been a topic of discussion. There has also been a discussion on what share of the upbringing that should be left to the schools in times when parents spend less time with their children. Theese differences in opinion is one reason why we have alternatives to public school in Norway. Since 2020, pupils have experienced something no one berfore them have experienced – mass testing, face masks, isolation, closed schools, digital home school, scared parents and a society governed by fear.
Pain in the stomach
And the children have been educated to live in fear. Both directly and indirectly. If they make a mistake or fail to follow orders, some of their loved ones might die. If they start coughing, they might themselves die. They learn that isolation, testing, fear, loneliness and indoors days is good for health, for themselves and everyone around them. We can already see some of the results. Results like like disimproved mental health and depression, learning disorders, disimproved face recognition, inferior language development, less social skills and reduced acess to health care and mental health care.
“I have got pain in my stomach” is something Norwegian parents have heard more frequently than before during the last two years. Focusing on lockdowns, infection numbers, spreading, asymptomatic disease and a constant and hysterical testing when one feels well has led to frightened and anxious children. This situation manifests itself as stomach pain, or what we in Norway call “a lump in the stomach”.
We find a considerable variation in how municipalities and schools have handled the covid 19 period. And there is a considerable variation in how schools have treated parents and children who do not want to be tested or vaccinated, or do not agree to the covid 19 measures. In some schools this has been a tidy process, whereas other schools have taken conformity to new levels and started persecution of some pupils and their parents. There are some schools that send notifications of concern to the Child Protection Services (CPS) because the parents have “extreme and fringe” opinions and attitudes. The CPS is used as at threath and weapon by schools that do not respect free will, skepticism, faith, outlook on life, human rights or medical autonomy when it comes to covid 19. And theese “extreme attitudes to be concerned of” mainly consist in disagreeing with how health autorities and schools handle covid 19, or what are the facts concerning vaccination.
But is it really so that parents are extreme, lacking limits, fringe or bad care person just because they ask questions, demand evidence or are skeptical towards mass testing, vaccination, closed schools, open schools, home school or other measures? And are the children of such parents more influenced by their parents than children of other parents?
There exist doctors, specialists and researchers who are sceptical or disagree with the covid 19 handling or certain measures. Some are skeptic towards mass testing of children, and claim that such testing gives false security, while others are in favor of testing more than once a week. NIPH (Norwegian Institute of Public health) first said that the use of face masks outside the health care sector could, when used improperly, lead to more risk of infection and disease. Then they said vaguely that facemasks maybe worked anyway. And different experts have different opinions on different measures. Even NIPH hold different opinions. And this article from 2021 shows that NIPH finds that face masks have a minor impact on infection. At certain times the rules were changed so often and were so contradictory that even the prime minister was not able to follow the rules.
On January 13 2021 seven Norwegian scientists wrote the following in the newspaper Bergens Tidende:
“Homeschooling and closed spare time activities cause inferior learning and less social contact. Youth have a low risk of serious illness caused by the virus, but the long term impakt on their own mental health and learning can be serious.“
And NIPH senior physician Preben Aavitsland himself says to NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Company) that the closing of schools during the pandemic was a mistake and created false fear.
Of course parents are not always as knowledgeable and eloquent or show the same matter-of-factness as the experts referred to above, even though the skepticism or disagreement is the same. When it comes to one’s own children, emotions like anger, irritation, fear and desperation are involved. But amid all this confusion and contradictory messages, parents who dear to be confused, skeptical or ask question about the school’s pandemic handling are presented as extremists and bad care persons. Some were reported to both the police and the CPS.
“You are not like the others”
Sarah (12) was a fourth grader at Kringlebotn school when the pandemic started in 2020. In the beginning, she was a little afraid of this pandemic that came to Norway, and she became concerned when her school introduced the various measures. Over time, Sarah and her family became aware of the mistakes and contradictions in the covid 19 handling and the news. They noticed that measures and vaccination did not prevent spreading or infection. And that even triple vaccinated people were infected and infected others. And that the experts held different opinions on almost everything and that there were less deaths than in normal times. Reality did not fit into what was presented on TV and in the newspapers. During 2021 it became more important for Sarah and her family to state their opinions and tell about what they had discovered and express their skepticism. Asking questions and fighting for what they thought was right became important.
Sarah felt that their engagement was not liked by the school administration. She was harassed by fellow pupils with expressions like ‘corona girl’ and ‘ go test yourself’. Sara got the impression that her opinions were not accepted at Kringlebotn school. The school administration says that so is to be expected when they have “opinions that differ so much from all other people’s opinions”. It should be mentioned that these were not Sarah’s opinions, but her mother’s opinions. We then get a new question – is this what the school administration thinks about other political and medical opinions other parents influence their children with? Is it so that the school administration thnks that children who are Jehova’s witnesses must expect harassment because Jehova’s witnesses do not accept blood transmission or celebrate the National Day?
The situation culminated when Sarah held an appeal about how difficult it is for children to say no, at Torgallmenningen in Bergen on January 22 2022. Shortly after her school sent a notification of concern to the CPS, with a link to her appeal on YouTube. They explain the CPS that they have tried to tell Sarah and her mother what the facts are, and they are concerned because Sarah and her mother do not accept their fact check. They also say that all the employees have seen the video and are chocked (which can explain why Sarah got the feeling that the school did not like what she said and did).
Many children – and adults – are afraid of talking to crowds and strangers. It is therefore extra alarming that appeals like the one Sarah held leads to such consequences. The goal of such actions is to deter children (or adults) from expressing their opinions, express themselves or blow the whistle. “Your opinions shock me and I have to report you to the authorities”. Reporting to the authorities was something also two persons outside the school did.
Change of school
The remainder of the school year becomes difficult for Sarah. She faces hard times, cries more often and devellops anxiety. “The world” is not only against her, but also her mother and her siblings. Her school uses divide and conquer tactics against them.
As if the harassment and discrimination is not enough, the family has to “defend” themselves towards the CPS. The family makes it clear that it is their covid 19 related opinions which is the cause behind the notification of concern. The school itself says that “it is insufficient care as well as burdensome when a child has to live with a mother with extreme opinions/attitudes.” And the principal defines extreme as “when most people does not share the opinion”. Is it the principal’s opinion that parties like the Christian Democrats, the Liberal Party or the Green Party should be labelled as extreme? Most Norwegians do not share their opinion.
Sarah finds it impossible to continue at her school and decides to change school. Fleeing a school should be unnecessary in Norway, but Sarah and her family sees no other option. On the second last day of the school year, Sarah wants to tell her class that it is not their fault, and explain to them why she changes school. She is prepared to answer questions from her fellow pupils. She tells her school in advance and it is agreed that she can read the letter to her class loudly.
After a few sentences her teacher interrupts her and asks her to stop. Two teachers pushes her out of the classroom. She is now not allowed to read the letter. Sarah is of course sad and starts crying. Most of all she wants to go home. The next day she stands outside her school and reads her letter loudly. She fells that this has been an unnecessarily dramatic end of her school year. They could have let her speak for a few minutes.
Could it be so that Sarah and her family have got valid reasons to be careful and skeptical? Could they have a reasonable, not “extreme” reason for not taking the vaccine or just believe in “safe and effective”? Sarah’s mother, Linda, is one of those who were hurt by the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix. This is the vaccine that NIPH senior physician Preben Aavitsland says was “the most serious vaccine catastrophy in modern times“.
Is it unreasonable not wanting to take more vaccines when the last vaccine hurted you?
The school har critizised Sarah’s mother for claiming that NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting company) portrays the topic one-sidedly, and that NRK super (channel for children) is not free from propaganda. There are several views on the topic of propaganda, but it is not only people on the far sides who find that a governmental TV channel makes propaganda for adults and children. One sequence at NRK super that made many people react and complain, was Bamselegen season 3 episode 10 “Vaksine”.
In this sequence, Bamselegen (Teddy Bear Doctor) sings a catchy song with child friendly symbolicism: “We’ve got to take the vaccines! do it now! do it now! We’ve got to take the vaccines! do it now! do it now!….Then you join the fight, you too!” Some people find this unproblematic, while others will classify this as the very definition of propaganda.
Sarah and Nor
Unfortunately, this situation is not unique. Not all dares to speak out, and therefore we cannot know how many people have experienced similiar behaviour. There are some others who have told their stories. During autumn 2021, Nor (12) was expelled from school for refusing to take a covid 19 test. Form there things escalated to a terrible treatment of Nor and his family. Nor har gone through much the same as Sarah and has made a video where he sends a message of support to Sarah and reads an open letter to King harald and Prime Minister Støre. Nor stresses that children has got the right to say no.
The danger in trying to make everyone normal is the elimination of diversity. The danger in punishing someone for their opinions is the elimination of democracy.
Disagreement is not extremism. And autonomy is not extremism.
Glenn Richard Bergstø
Human rights fighter
Og de har blitt opplært til å leve i frykt. Både direkte og indirekte. Trår de feil eller ikke følger ordre kan noen de er glad i nemlig dø. Begynner de å hoste kan de selv dø. De lærer at isolering, testing, frykt, ensomhet og innedager er bra for helsen, for dem selv og alle rundt dem. Vi har allerede begynt å se noen av resultatene. Resultater som forverret mental helse og depresjon, lærevansker, dårligere ansiktsgjenkjenning, redusert språkutvikling, dårligere sosiale ferdigheter og redusert tilgang til helsehjelp og mental helsehjelp.