Delta Teachers’ Association president Susan Yao is hoping parents will finally get on board and encourage their kids to wear masks in schools.
Yao said it’s been a huge concern as the number of schools including Delta schools are seeing an increasing number of COVID-19 exposure events.
“The fact is wearing a mask is definitely preventative, so why wouldn’t we take that step? The DTA would like to see students, teachers and other staff wearing masks, especially at secondary schools. Right now, those students have just moved into their second quarters with new cohorts, so these are new groups that have not been with each other the last nine or ten weeks,” said Yao.
She noted only one school encouraged parents in writing to have their high school kids wear masks as they joined their new cohorts.
“We’d like this for the first two weeks, at least, if not longer,” she said.
The huge jump in COVID-19 cases in B.C. comes despite provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry having announced new restrictions on social gatherings as well as a mandatory mask policy for public indoor settings.
However, that order continues to leave out schools.
In an open letter to parents Tuesday, B.C. Teachers Federation president Teri Mooring encouraged mask wearing in schools, noting some schools have already taken the step.
“By talking to your children about wearing their masks in school, you can help us create that respectful culture of mask wearing,” Mooring wrote.
Yao agreed, adding other safety measures including smaller class sizes also need to be implemented in order to ensure the safety of children and staff.
Noting teachers are afraid for their own families, she added physical distancing, especially in secondary schools, isn’t possible.
Yao also noted teachers on-call are going into multiple schools and new classes, having to teach many students not wearing masks.