A New York City judge has taken a 6-year-old girl away from her mom for not wearing a mask while taking her to school. The court also ordered the mom, Dr. Micheline Epstein, to wear a mask inside her own home in order to have brief supervised visits with her daughter.
As Epstein, a family doctor, went to drop her daughter off at the Birch Wathen Lenox School on the Upper East Side last week, everything turned upside down very quickly.
In a phone interview Epstein explained that her daughter had already reached class and was wearing a mask when the school nurse and police tried to convince her to wear a mask on the public street in front of the building but Epstein declined.
Jeff Guttenplan, Epstein’s boyfriend, clarified that the daughter was wearing a mask when the family walk inside, “No one got physical or anything, she just refused to wear the mask. They were outside on the public sidewalk.”
Epstein explained that the school nurse rushed out and yelled at her to put on a mask, she was upset and refused. She cried, ““The next thing I know, my daughter is taken away from me.”
Epstein is divorced from her husband and the two had a joint custody arrangement in which the daughter spent equal time in both of their homes. The split, on the other hand, has become acrimonious.
Following the incident at the school, a letter was sent from a prestigious college prep school sent to the mother, her former husband, and both parties’ lawyers to announce that she was no longer allowed to drop off or pick up her daughter from school.
Then the father used the mask warning to seek an emergency hearing for full custody, which Justice Matthew F. Cooper granted after attacking the mother, who was also visibly upset.
Epstein said, “She’s the love of my life, It’s horrible. Please help us.”
Furthermore, the court ruled the mom is not allowed to remove her daughter from the school—as this is no longer her decision to make. She is now struggling working three jobs in order to pay for not only her daughter’s schooling, but also the six attorneys she hired to battle the case.
Epstein was not allowed to see or talk to her daughter on Tuesday, even though it was her daughter’s birthday.
Those who want to support the mother, please help to email the school and judge from ([email protected]). Epstein has already started a GiveSendGo campaign help to raise funds for the legal bills that are piling up.
Epstein added, still trying to hide her emotions but unable to cover the depths of her sorrow, “The only thing I want is for people to stand up already and stop with this nonsense.”