Holocaust comparison to mask mandate based on ‘freedom of speech,’ Kansas school board candidate says

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Christina Flaming, who made comments comparing a mask mandate to the Nazi persecution of Jews at a Shawnee Heights Board of Education meeting. In this still from an Oct. 4 meeting, she returned to talk with the board about critical race theory education. (Courtesy Photo/Shawnee Heights USD 450)

TOPEKA (KSNT) — A Shawnee Heights school board candidate says she was exercising her right to freedom of speech when she drew ties between the Holocaust and mask mandates in a recorded Shawnee Heights Board of Education meeting.

In the Sept. 7 live-streamed meeting, Christina Flaming made comments comparing COVID-19 mask mandates to the Nazi persecution of Jews. The comments garnered reactions on social media when the Kansas Reflector published a story about them on Oct. 8.

Watch the meeting where Flaming made the comments below:

In the video, Flaming talks about knowing a junior high social studies teacher in the Shawnee Heights district.

“She’s an excellent teacher, pays close attention to her students and one of her favorite history subjects is the Holocaust,” Flaming said. “I strongly suggest that you guys maybe consider what kind of psychological warfare is being played on everyone right now and how it compares to the Holocaust.”

Flaming then clarifies in the video that she is referring to mask mandates specifically.

“We are all here in masks, where’s our yellow stars? I think as an educational place we need to be considering that,” Flaming said.

Flaming later shared a statement with KSNT News about her comments in the Sept. 7 meeting.

“The statements made in the video clip of the Shawnee Heights School Board meeting were made based on my freedom of speech as an individual tax paying citizen of Shawnee Heights School District. The segment can be seen in proper context on the school website.  I made not a single reference as to representing my employer, my professional association, or my profession at large. I directed my statements to Erica Price, SH school board president and the other members of the board. I expressed the anger that many citizens are feeling regarding the mandates being placed on Shawnee Heights students. My statements about the atrocities of the Holocaust were my own. They were to stimulate thought and it appears my goal was successful. From a brief review of the Nuremberg trials, one can find that it was doctors and nurses hanged for crimes against humanity. No one wants to have open discussion about the possibility of government and health care decisions causing harm. While we all want safety in this era of COVID, I have found no long term controlled studies on the consequences of masking children for hours a day. I would not wish it on anyone to look back years from now at decisions made in the name of public safety and find long term physical and psychological damage to children.”

Christina Flaming

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