HCDSB No Mandatory Masks for Children in JK - Grade 3

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The HCDSB (Halton Catholic District School Board) has decided to make Face Masks mandatory for ALL grades, including very young children in JK - Grade 3.  It is very disturbing that they made this decision which goes against the Provincial & Sick Kids recommendation of them being optional, but encouraged.  Further, they did not wait to hear from Halton Public Health for their recommendation first.  This was passed in a vote of 6-3 in favor by people who are not medical doctors. To be very specific, only 4 of the 6 who voted in favor were actual trustee's.  The other 2 were student trustee's.  (See below for complete list)UPDATE: I have learned that the Student Trustee votes do not count, making this a very close vote of 4-3 as one Trustee was unable to attend.

Ultimately, this was quite simply a matter of personal opinions, with no scientific backing.  This is not how health related policies should be implemented.

During their virtual board meeting, the trustees suggested that because these small children are required to wear a mask in public, that school is no different.  That is a gross over simplification.  When in public, these children are often with their parents who can ensure the mask is worn properly and quickly address any problems.  A teacher and ECE with a room of 30 kids will not be able to offer this kind of 1 on 1 attention.  Further, it is a big difference to wear a mask for a short duration, such as a grocery store visit.  A 6 or potentially as long as 8 hour day with before and after school programs is simply not a valid comparison.

It is not feasible for a small child to wear a mask appropriately for this long. They constantly touch their ears, eyes, face, nose and put their hands in their mouth making them almost completely ineffective.  They may even decide to "trade" masks with other children as part of a game. These masks could also easily and repeatedly come loose or fall on the ground causing more contact, picking up more germs. Any parent with common sense can see this.

This decision needs to be reversed, immediately.

I would recommend that anyone signing this petition also email the HCDSB Trustee's directly with your concerns.  Here are all of the email addresses.

comments@hcdsb.org (General Mailbox)
duartem@hcdsb.org (Milton, voted in favor)
agnewb@hcdsb.org (Burlington, voted in favor)
murphyp@hcdsb.org (Milton, voted in favor)
guzzon@hcdsb.org (Oakville, presented the motion and voted in favor)
(no-email) Nicholas Gubert (Student Trustee, voted in favor)
(no-email) Kirsten Kelly (Student Trustee, voted in favor)
o'brient@hcdsb.org (Burlington, voted against)
karabelah@hcdsb.org (Oakville, voted against)
derosap@hcdsb.org (Oakville, abstained vote)
o'hearn-czarnotaj@hcdsb.org (Halton Hills, unable to attend)
iantomasiv@hcdsb.org (Chair, Burlington, did not vote)