(Files by Brendan Pawliw-MyPGNow)
The BC Teachers Federation is launching a campaign to convince parents to educate their children about the importance of wearing a mask.
Last week, Doctor Bonnie Henry, extended the Lower Mainland’s requirement for face masks in all public indoor spaces to the entire province with schools the lone exception.
President Teri Mooring told Vista Radio while the situation in BC isn’t as bad as Alberta’s, it’s getting dangerously close.
“It’s interesting to see what Alberta’s approach is in terms of moving to remote learning and our approach has been let’s keep schools open but let’s make sure they are safe and we are seeing more than 800 school exposure notifications going home to families and that is very concerning.”
“We would rather see masks and physical distancing happening in schools rather than having schools close for two weeks completely because of an outbreak. We also have a teacher shortage so when some of these schools are closing not only because of the pandemic but because we also don’t have enough teachers and support staff.”
Yesterday (Tuesday), the Alberta government moved grades seven to 12 in all parts of the province to online learning for the rest of the calendar year while Kindergarten to grade six students will continue in-person learning until December 18th.
In an open letter to parents, Mooring is asking parents to support a respectful culture of wearing masks to protect loved ones.
She adds everyone has to take action, to ensure the virus isn’t brought home to their families.
“We have a dynamic where students come into the building wearing masks and then take them off in classrooms where they are going to be in proximity with up to 30 other students along with the adults in the room for extended periods of time. With the mask policy in place, we think it should be extended and what we are seeing now is upwards of 960 cases of COVID reported yesterday (Tuesday) and we are in a really serious situation in BC and all of the projections point to the situation getting worse for a while.”
Mooring believes the classroom is the perfect place to normalize mask-wearing in our current society.
“Masks are going to be with us in our society for some time to come and we have seen this in other countries in the world who have had pandemics as well. We think that classrooms are the perfect place to normalize this behavior and to teach students about proper mask hygiene and care.”