Make mask wearing optional in Manitoba schools or provide homeschooling alternatives

Make mask wearing optional in Manitoba schools or provide homeschooling alternatives

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Julia Reimer started this petition to Kelvin Goertzen mla kelvin@kelvingoertzen.com

I am writing this petition in response to the recent decision in Manitoba to make mask wearing mandatory for our children as they return back to school this fall. 
I have many questions and concerns with this decision, the main one being the long term effects on our children’s mental, emotional, and thus ultimately physical well-being


There have been a number of studies and articles written in these last few months, supporting the need to send our kids back to school in the most “normal” way possible. As well as studies proving that our children are not the super carriers or spreaders of this virus that people originally labelled them as being.

Two of these articles highlighting these  studies have been linked below:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/sickkids-doctors-expect-safe-return-to-school-for-ontario-students-in-the-fall-1.5616344

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.5552099

Children need as few distractions as possible to be able to learn. I have two young children (aged 9 and 11). They are your average kids with no health or developmental concerns, and it doesn’t take much to distract them. Wearing  a mask while trying to learn will be very distracting for them, as well as hot and itchy, which will likely lead to them touching it and moving it around - which we have been told by experts (and I can vouch for first hand as a health care professional of 18 years) is one of the worst things you can do when wearing a mask. Not wearing masks properly is known to be more detrimental than not wearing a mask at all.

My kids are full of life and energy, and need to learn in an environment where they are encouraged to be active, think for themselves, express themselves freely, and be respected for differing thoughts and opinions and ways of expressing oneself.
However, as mentioned in the 26 page Manitoba Government’s Welcoming Kids back to school PDF on the bottom of page 19, freedom to think and express oneself differently and freely on the matters of this virus will not be tolerated or respected.               

Remember that children are often listening when others are talking about COVID-19. Staff should consider this and minimize discussions of COVID-19 that are not related to the specific setting. Staff should be mindful of how children share information in less supervised settings (e.g., during outdoor play, before and after school, during lunch and snack times). In these settings, children can become misinformed. It is important for staff to correct this misinformation as they become aware of it.”

I find this quote to be as concerning - if not more - than the latest mask mandate. I do not want my children being taught in a school system where they are essentially being spied on while on their break time and corrected if they aren’t thinking and talking about this virus in one specific “right” way that has been mandated by our government! This is not ok and flies in the face of our freedom of speech! 

My experience during these last many long months, is that the fear of this virus is spreading much faster than the actual virus. We need to ask ourselves some questions: do we want to encourage this fear in our children? How will/has all of this fear been affecting our mental well being and our children’s well being? Do we want our children learning that there is only one way to think and talk about this virus?
Another great article that asked similar questions was written by Dr. Joel Kettner and can be found linked below:

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.5654062

To quote Dr. Kettner “ The prevention must not be worse than the disease”

It is debatable whether wearing face masks does anything to prevent the spread of this virus. A virus that has not been found to be carried or spread or contracted by children, and which has a much lower risk of occurrence and a much higher risk of survival than most things we engage in on a regular basis (driving, flying, public transportation). 


Making masks mandatory for our children has way more risks attached to it than benefits. While mask wearing might ease some people’s fear, my experience is that mask wearing actually increases fear. It also decreases your ability to communicate, connect and express yourself. The potential for a mask to minimize some of the droplets from a persons nose/mouth is not quantifiable, but the cost to the mental and social well being of our children and families, our environment and our pocketbooks is. 

Mask wearing needs to be voluntary.
If, however, this mandate is to remain in place, the province needs to provide homeschool options for those of who do not agree with this mandate and who do not wish to send our children into such a controlling and fear based environment. There needs to be options for all families - not just the ones who are the most vocal and/or the most afraid. 

If masks are mandated, then so must be learning alternatives for those of us who do not agree with this mandate. 

If you share these concerns, please forward this on to anyone else who might also be concerned with the latest decision that has been made by our government, regarding our previous children. 

 

 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!