The head of the union representing BC teachers is asking parents to “create a culture of mask wearing” with their kids in schools.
After Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry explained her reasoning this week for not requiring mandatory masks in schools as part of her new public health orders, BC Teachers Federation President Terri Mooring wrote in an open letter that “making sure our schools and classrooms are safe for our children and yours has been the top priority for us all.”
With BC in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mooring is “reaching out to [parents] for some help.”
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While masks are not mandatory at all times in schools, “we’re hoping you can help us support a culture of mask wearing,” Mooring writes, noting that some schools have already taken this step.
“The school community has come together and made mask wearing normal and expected,” she furthers. “It really helps everyone in our schools feel safer. We need to be doing all we can to ensure we keep each other safe. No one wants to bring COVID-19 home to their families.”
Mooring said she recognizes that “there are students and staff members who for various reasons can’t wear masks. And, there are some learning situations where masks aren’t appropriate. That’s all ok. Our school communities have a lot of experience making sure people are included and treated with kindness and respect.”
However, “by talking to your children about wearing their masks in school, you can help us create that respectful culture of mask wearing. BCTF members, your children’s teachers, are committed to providing our students with supportive and enriching learning environments. We also need them to be safe. Please help make that happen. We encourage you to talk to your children and encourage them to wear masks.”
BC teachers “care deeply about our students, your children,” writes Mooring. “We are all working incredibly hard to make sure they are safe and receiving the best education possible during this terrible pandemic.”