Chilliwack School District school bus outside Sardis elementary on June 11, 2014. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

LETTER: Chilliwack school trustee critical of delay school reopening

Heather Maahs ‘extremely disappointed in the ministry’s plan to start a week later’

As we approach the week that should have been met with lots of anticipation of having the children back in school, we’re instead met with more draconian measures issued by the Minister of Education. The Superintendent, administrative staff and our teachers are now bogged down in layers and layers of negotiating the new directives for our students instead of being able to focus on the primary objective of education, achievement and grad rates for our students. It seems the entire premise for education has been lost. Instead it’s become all about fear and intimidation being imposed on the children who it appears are being used as pawns in this big political swamp of COVID.

The BCTF asked for a later start after Christmas. The Minister obliged. How does that change anything other than remove the children from learning yet again.

I’m extremely disappointed in the ministry’s plan to start a week later allowing staff to put more so called safety measures in place. This is entirely unnecessary and does nothing except feed the narrative of unnecessary fear in the children.

RELATED: Chilliwack parents preparing for staggered restart to classes

The government, Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside appears to be bowing to the BCTF, giving them whatever they ask for. They wanted masks for all the children in schools, the Minister obliged. There has never been any data to substantiate this measure what-so-ever. There is still no justification for having all the children wearing masks. The masks are in fact more unhealthy to wear than not. Children can’t wear them according to the current health standards so they are pointless, except for perhaps giving some a false sense of security. Masks on children also present a hindrance to learning.

Do the children and their families matter at all? What about working parents? What are they supposed to do with their children who are meant to be in school? Who is looking after them and who is paying for that? And please tell me who is exactly essential now? And if they all go into daycare, how is that any different from being in school?

Enough is enough. If the children are going to go back to school, just let them go.

Trustee Heather Maahs

Chilliwack Board of Education

(Editor’s note: Trustee Maahs’ claim about masks is based on inaccurate information from the start of the pandemic in 2020. The B.C. Centre for Disease Control says that masks are a layer of protection that helps stop the spread COVID-19, and that all people age five and older are required to wear a mask in indoor public spaces regardless of their vaccination status.)

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