Revise the Requirements for Masks in BC Schools

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Thank you everyone! Let's keep going!!

Thank you, everyone, for your support in this. I really appreciate it! We are just a bit shy of 1000 signatures now, and I believe we can reach even more people.

When I created this petition, it was under the assumption that masks would be the only thing we had to fight for, because physical distancing would be a part of whatever plan was rolled out.

Apparently, I was wrong.

So, to clarify/update:

This petition seeks to ask the government to:

**Mandate masks for those working closely with immunocompromised individuals; this includes SSAs, Teachers, OTs, SLPs, PTs, LSTs working with at-risk students (or those with at-risk family members at home), and students working with at-risk SSAs, Teachers, OTs, SLPs, PTs, and LSTs (or those who have at-risk family members at home, and aren't granted accommodations by their boards)

(We believe that a mandatory mask mandate, as seen in other jurisdictions like AB and ON, would be a far better approach, but the pushback we have received (at the school and MHO level) on our advocacy on this front has lead us to ask for protection, at least, for the most vulnerable people in a school building. As masks are recommended when a person is in a small enclosed space with many faces and poor ventilation, we fail to see how BC schools shouldn't have some sort of mask directive in place, outside of 'personal choice'.)

**We are now also asking for physical distancing to be mandatory; in the hierarchy of protections, distancing is higher than PPE, and yet our current back to school plan indicates that physical distancing is recommended, but won't be enforced, that no touching should be the goal; for small children in classes filled at 100% as currently expected, they will touch. We saw it in June first hand when the classes weren't full; having bigger spaces for them to learn in would help to minimize the touching

**To that end, we are also now asking for smaller class sizes, because in most BC Schools, that is the only way to achieve physical distancing; you cannot safely distance 22+ children in small classrooms (some classes have upwards of 30 students; some have no windows; teachers in those classes are being told to keep their doors open to encourage circulation; this sounds like a potential recipe for disaster)

Overall, we believe that it would be more prudent to have a workable safety plan in place, rather than focusing on a workable contact tracing plan, as is currently the case. I will add to this as we go, but please continue to share and fight for safety in our schools!

https://www.change.org/p/bc-ndp-revise-the-requirements-for-masks-in-bc-schools

Jaclyn Ferreira
1 year ago