Ensure Mandatory Mask Wearing in Alberta Classrooms

Ensure Mandatory Mask Wearing in Alberta Classrooms

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On July 21, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced K-12 students will return to schools full-time in September. We, the students of Alberta, are beyond grateful to return to our classrooms. However, we find fault in the province's plan to return students to schools. During his address, Premier Kenney suggested that masks are not a priority in Alberta's schools - something we, the students, oppose.

On their own, many students will likely refuse to wear a mask for a plethora of reasons ranging from discomfort to social standards. Especially in the high school setting, what is not deemed 'trendy' or 'cute' will not be accepted. Therefore, masks and their wearers will be shunned. This alienation will not only lead to heightened social tensions in Alberta schools (which is the last thing our communities need during these times) but the rejection of masks will pose a significant health risk to all individuals. 

It is crucial that all students and staff members returning to Alberta schools in the fall wear facial coverings. If we are lax on our mask wearing, we risk creating an environment in which students (especially those with preexisting medical conditions and at-risk family members) feel unsafe. Has the goal of Alberta schools not always been to foster a safe environment for learning? Failing to provide a mandatory mask order within schools directly prevents schools from remaining a safe, welcoming, and nurturing environment in the fall.

This petition is a call from the students of Alberta to our peers, teachers, and elected officials to protect the children of Alberta. Please consider signing this petition asking several of our elected officials to ensure that masks are mandatory in schools in the coming year. If we lose, countless children will be at risk of contracting COVID-19. We must act now to protect the children of Alberta. If we do not do so, the unimaginable might become a reality.

We are the future of this province. Protect us, and protect us now.