A primary public school near North Vancouver Island is almost empty when anxious parents stop their children from attending.
Parents at AJ Elliott Elementary School in Santola, Malcolm Island, are discussing issues with a teacher from School District 85 (SD85) who was told they would not wear masks during the school season. Parents say the principal told several parents that the teacher has a medical immunity and will not wear a mask, which was confirmed at a meeting Friday to discuss COVID safety concerns.
Britney Swanson, a mother of three who attends school, spoke to Black Press Media on behalf of a group of parents. He said that out of possible 33 students, about 28 students are not going to class.
“We, the parents of children at AJ Elliott Elementary, want to send our children to school but a teacher who cannot wear a mask and whose vaccine status is not known does not provide a safe learning environment,” he said. That’s what we need. ” Statement
“This is directly related to our children who are almost all under the age of 12 and cannot be vaccinated. We do not accept the premise that the school board meets the medical needs of a staff member for the health and safety of the entire school. It is unfair for the school district to force parents to decide between sending their children to an environment for which they feel insecure and have access to education.
SD85 Superintendent of Schools Christina McDonald made a statement on behalf of the school district.
“There is a minor illness plan in the school district based on provincial guidelines that requires all staff and students in grades 4 to 12 to wear masks indoors,” he said.
“However, in some cases there are exceptions to the need for indoor masks. School boards in British Columbia take instructions from the Ministry of Education and Public Health and are expected to follow the provincial K-12 guidelines.
Parents are asking any teachers and staff who cannot wear masks where they can work in isolation from the rest of the school community, and are asking the ministry to provide emergency funding to the school board. Alternatives to school for students while it is resolved.
The Ministry of Education told the Gazette that a Vancouver Island Rapid Response Team has arrived at the school district and is reviewing local safety plans to ensure a healthy learning environment in the school as well as help with communication. There are security arrangements for. Parents.