The following formal complaint was sent by one of our citizens and activist when she and others were bullied by MSDH employees. The letter was sent to her legislators, State Health Officer, Mary Currier, and several members of the house and senate health committees.
We are nearly speechless looking at the Dept. of Health employees comments screen-captured and posted below. Still worse, we are utterly disappointed (although not surprised) that there has been NO acknowledgement made to Ivette concerning her complaint. We are appalled and you will be too. Read on...
This is a formal complaint against the Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH). In particular, it is a complaint against the MSDH's Facebook page administrator and MSDH employees Lamar Lott and Christopher Ward.
On October 22nd, MSDH posted, on their Facebook page, information about getting a flu shot during pregnancy. Some citizens raised legitimate questions and concerns about the safety of this. Although the MSDOH was responding to some questions, Mr. Lott took it upon himself to disrespect, insult, and belittle the citizens posting. In particular, he attacked and raised false claims about me. He stated that I was CRIMINALLY endangering others by participating in the discussion. That is libel. Please note I never said I was against vaccination. I simply posted my opinion on the flu shot and linked to reputable scientific journals. This can be verified. Mr. Lott also spoke in a misogynistic fashion by responding to female posters with statements like "someone needs a hug" and "get a life ladies" and repeatedly said we were uneducated. The other MSDH employee, Mr. Ward made one inappropriate comment.I attempted to call the attention to Lamar Lott's inappropriate posts, and tagged the MSDH. I requested Mr. Lott's supervisor's name and asked why he was being allowed to post such inflammatory content on the page. I got no response from the MSDH. While the MSDH responded respectfully to posts, they continued to allow Lott to belittle citizens.
AS OF TODAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2014, STATE EMPLOYEE, LAMAR LOTT, CONTINUES TO HARASS AND BULLY CITIZENS ON THE MSDH FACEBOOK PAGE, AND THE MSDH IS ALLOWING THIS.
MSDH employees Lamar Lott, Christoper Ward, and the administrator of the MSDH page acted against the Mississippi state employee's policies on Social Media Use (Mississippi State Employee Handbook, Chapter 5, p.9 and web address: http://www.mississippi.gov/content/Pages/Social-Media-Policy.aspx) and Conflict of Interest (Mississippi State Employee Handbook, section 5.7).
Please note that this complaint is NOT about the issue of vaccination. It is about the extremely unprofessional and unethical behavior of state employees on a state-sponsored Facebook site. Of course, state employees have the right to comment and participate on social media sites, but it should be done in a respectful manner. Particularly because they represent your agency. It is by no means appropriate for employees to belittle and ridicule tax payers, citizens and residents of Mississippi on a state-sponsored social media outlet. It is definitely not acceptable to raise false statements about a person.Attached are screenshots of some of the comments I am referring to.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I await a reply as to what action is being taken to address this issue.
"Get a life ladies. Or an education." -Lamar Lott, MSDH employee while debating vaccine safety.
Mississippians better get interested in this. This is the behavior of untamed bureaucrats who have been given tyrannical power over the parents of MS concerning vaccination for far too long. Will you help us hold them accountable by getting involved?
48 other states do NOT allow their Department of Health to have a say regarding medical exemptions. Here in Mississippi, the Department of Health does not allow YOU, the parent -- or even your pediatrician to have a say regarding YOUR child...the buck stops with Mary Currier who isn't even aware that VAERS is an online database!
"You're in the state of Mississippi! The Health Department MAKES the rules." -Dr. Rausa, MSDH District Health Officer -- to a mother denied a medical exemption for her vaccine injured son after having a MS licensed physician file a writen request.
This is really happening. It is happening because we allow it. Please get interested. Our children deserve better.