‘All the numbers are fake,’ Teacher’s controversial COVID-19 comments prompt DPS investigation

DAYTON — A Dayton Public Schools teacher is being accused of sharing what doctor’s call COVID-19 misinformation in a video posted online that was taken down by YouTube for “violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.”

The video was a project for a broadcasting class at Ponitz High School and the district’s superintendent says what the teacher said on video was not appropriate for students.

“It’s not our job to push off our opinions and push off the beliefs that we have on our students,” Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said.

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In the video shared online, the Dayton Public Schools teacher is being interviewed as part of what school leaders said was a class project. The teacher makes claims about COVID-19, questioning testing practices by area providers, including Premier Health.

“All the numbers are fake,” the teacher said in the video.

Lolli said Ponitz’s principal viewed the video after it was posted on YouTube Thursday night. The principal then told staff not to show the video to the students.

“I think the person who was interviewed has a right to their opinion, I think they have a right to say what they believe to be true. However, I don’t think the interview itself was appropriate for the students to be engaged in,” Lolli told News Center 7 Friday afternoon.

Premier Health’s Dr. Roberto Colon said many claims the teacher made in the video amounted to bad information.

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“We have enough of a hard time fighting this virus. We don’t also have to throw in bad information and disinformation campaigns. This is just something we should not have to deal with right,” Colon said.

Colon said the video was “disheartening.”

“We need to be utilizing science and data, not unproven hypotheses as to how how to defeat the virus,” Colon said.

Lolli said the district is investigating the situation and if there are any policy violations by anyone involved potential discipline could be issued.