B.C. parents plan 'sick out' tomorrow calling for more mask use | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. parents plan 'sick out' tomorrow calling for more mask use

Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
November 30, 2020 - 6:00 PM

Tomorrow there will be parents across B.C. keeping their kids at home in what is being dubbed a “sick out."

Organizers of the protest say they're concerned with the lack of masks in cramped and poorly ventilated classrooms, and too few online learning options. The mask issue is in line with what the B.C. Teachers Federation has been asking for in recent days.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said today, Nov. 30, she wasn't aware of the protest, but welcomes parental input.

"I think that the parent voices are very important to ensure that what's happening in their school community meets the needs of parents and children," Dr. Henry said.

"But I just want to reflect on this ... we've had very little transmission in schools. We've had many exposure events, but they have very rarely really resulted in transmission, particularly from children to anyone. So this is an important time for all of us to reset and learn from what we have been through in the last few months to make sure communication is ongoing and make sure that parents are involved in those discussions as well."

Regardless, the group currently has a petition circulating on Change.org.

"Currently, we are experiencing the worst Covid case numbers of the pandemic, and as an attempt to regain control and protect society, we finally have a mask mandate for all indoor spaces and limits or outright bans on groups of people, both inside and outside. Since when are our children and their educators unworthy of the same protection?" the petition reads.

"Class sizes, for the large part, have not decreased to enable social distancing. Ventilation systems are no different than they were prior to the pandemic, and children, according to the WHO, do spread the virus as effectively as adults. Dr. Anthony Fauci actually commented that we are traveling down a slippery slope by not testing asymptomatic people, in order to control infection."

So far more than 6,000 people have signed the petition.

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