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Parents oppose the move to keep the mask on by the Ontario Board of Education

The view shows Hamilton covered in snow after a snowstorm. January 17, 2022, Ontario, Canada.Reuters / Carlos Osorio

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Toronto, March 20 (Reuters)-When students from Canada’s most populous state return to unmasked classes two years after Monday, an Ontario school board decides to drop the mask. Controversial pandemic issues that may set the stage for conflict, facing repulsion by opposition.

Maskmandate and other pandemic measures triggered a three-week protest in the capital Ottawa last month and became a lightning rod for the rebel movement.read more

Hamilton-Wentworth District Board of Education (HWDSB) votes against removing mask obligations and keeps students and teachers masked until April 1 to protect medically vulnerable people I suggested that.

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The remaining 30 public boards of education in Ontario have decided to follow government orders after Ontario Health Director Kieran Moore refuses to comply with Mask’s obligations from several other boards of education. I am planning.

Some Hamilton parents have criticized the Board’s decision, saying the policy is “meaningless” and “may be illegal.” HWDSB has about 50,000 students.

Hamilton’s parent, Alyssa Van Creek, said, “My kids won’t wear masks, and if the school tries to get them to wear masks, they’ll be told to call the school.” Said.

“My child was told by the state government that it was safe to wear a mask in most environments. The school board has no other right to say anything else,” she added.

However, Dr. Armand Keating, a clinician and staff hematologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center, said, “With the increasing frequency of more contagious BA.2 mutant cases, a more cautious approach is taken. It will be supported. “

Schools in Ontario do not have their own mask policy, so HWDSB will find it difficult to enforce masking requirements after the mandate is lifted. Ontario Education Law and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“It’s overkill”

However, an exception to this rule is found in the Health Protection Promotion Act, which gives municipal health officials the power to invalidate state government laws.

“They can’t personally mandate it, especially if they don’t have public health to support them,” she added, Hamilton’s mother, two elementary school students. I did. I wear a mask anyway.

HWDSB did not say how it would deal with students and teachers attending school without masks.

Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education of Ontario, has rejected HWDSB’s request to support masking policies. Measures that have been taken in the last two years. “

The Ontario Elementary School Teachers’ Federation (ETFO) also opposes the removal of mandates. The Ontario Teachers’Federation and the Hamilton-Wentworth Elementary School Teachers’ Federation did not respond to requests for comment.

ETFO President Karen Brown said, “Ontario has relied on public health authorities to lead a scientifically-based approach. Unfortunately, the June elections are approaching and COVID-19 It seems to be influencing the politician’s decision to increase security. Countermeasures. “

Ontario Prime Minister Dougford said the decision was based on the advice of the Chief Health Officer and encouraged schools to meet the state’s end date.

Ford’s office did not immediately provide comments when asked if the upcoming local elections played a role.

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Report by Alexander Schmar Edited by Denny Thomas and Jonathan Oatis

Our Criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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