More on this petition:
The current mask directive in BC is essentially phrased as: 'masks are not mandatory, but are recommended indoors, especially where physical distancing is not possible or there is poor ventilation, except for in schools' - schools which have notoriously bad ventilation and small spaces (and where many didn’t follow physical distancing guidelines in June), and are places where people spend long periods of time together; it is confusing. We are asking for balanced consideration of underlying health concerns and vulnerabilities of students, teachers and those they live with, and a more nuanced approach to mask use, instead of giving a hard 'no' for BC schools in September. We are also asking for more weight to be given to the opinions of physicians who treat and know their at-risk patients better than the schools, school boards, and provincial health officials do, in relation to their health. If a physician states that masks are necessary to protect a student and their at-risk family members, the boards and schools should follow that directive. The current 'no masks in schools' policy is exclusionary, because it forces at-risk families to choose between two human rights: that of health, and that of education. It is especially exclusionary to children who are both disabled AND immunocompromised, as they are are arguably some of the the children who most need to be in school, and are more likely to require supports that put them at higher risk, and are those who already face exclusion from the school system on a regular basis, outside of pandemic situations.