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Ankeny school board member receives anti-mask, anti-vaccine mailer

The postcard was sent to the school board member's home and appears to have been sent from Connecticut, according to the postmark.

ANKENY, Iowa — As kids return to school across the state, school board members in Ankeny are facing a new challenge.

Several school board members have reported receiving postcards calling masks "child abuse" and referring to the COVID-19 vaccine as a "clotshot."

"Whether you've agreed with me in the past, or you haven't agreed with me in the past, this postcard is just simply not right," said Amy Tagliareni, one of the Ankeny school board members who received the card.

The postcard appears to have been mailed from Connecticut based on one of the three postmarks that appear on the card. The card also includes a link to a group called The White Rose.

"I find it hard to believe that someone in New England is sitting around following Ankeny's school district business. So I just feel that there had to be a tie to someone in this community," said Tagliareni, although, she admits she has no way to know for sure.

This is just one aspect of a larger debate over masks and mask mandates.  And that's having a real impact on Iowa families.

"She took her mask off, and I noticed that there was a lump on her neck," said Katie Christiansen, as she describes the adverse effects she believes masks have had on her daughter Ruby.

According to Christiansen, Ruby developed a disease and underwent surgery after her mom says she was forced to wear a mask at school.

"They couldn't tell them you have 100% certainty that it wasn't caused from the mask. Moving forward, I just realized that for anything that's a medical decision, I believe you need to have more information," said Christiansen.

E.J. Wallace has a different perspective for his son Emery.

"My son was born with two major heart defects. That really very powerful, impactful experience that we experienced very early on as parents really drives a lot of our decisions," said Wallace.

This year, the family decide to pull Emery from in-person learning since his classmates weren't guaranteed to be wearing masks.

"We ultimately love for him to be able to be around friends but ultimately, Emery was at peace with the decision and I think that he understands that the his safety is the number one priority for us as parents," said Wallace.

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