Parents group wants masks to stay on in NS schools

Parked school bus
SSRCE School Bus. Photo Ed Halverson
Ed Halverson - CJQC/QCCR - LiverpoolNS | 10-09-2021

Nova Scotia Parents for Public Schools, a Facebook group with close to 18,000 members is raising their concerns after the province’s chief medical officer for health Dr. Robert Strang announced students and staff would no longer be required to wear masks beginning September 20.

Co-chair Stacey Rudderham says the decision whether or not to wear a mask can’t be left up to students.

“Kids don’t know how to make personal choices that are always in their best interests.”

Rudderham says many of the parents in her group are worried ventilation issues at their schools still haven’t been addressed.

That combined with the decision to drop the masking requirement has shaken their faith in public health direction being put forward by the province.

“Last year we saw a lot of people saying that they trusted the situation was going to be fine and after the spring, we’re not seeing a lot of that in the group anymore,” said Rudderham.

Unlike Nova Scotia, many provinces are requiring teachers to either prove they have been fully vaccinated or undergo regular COVID testing.

The lack of proof isn’t an issue for Rudderham.

Despite having any hard numbers to confirm her speculation, she’s confident the majority of teachers have had their vaccines.

“We were very aware of last spring was that the NSTU (Nova Scotia Teachers Union) and the teachers were asking to prioritized; that they should be treated like healthcare workers and they wanted to be vaccinated,” said Rudderham. “They were very much stressed out about the amount of risk that they were facing.”

The Nova Scotia Parents for Public Education group is putting together a letter outlining their concerns to present to the newly appointed Minister of Education Becky Druhan.

Rudderham expects to send that letter off to the department within the week.

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Twitter: @edwardhalverson

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