The Ottawa-Carlton District School Board’s vote to reinstate mask requirements in schools has failed.
After two meetings worth of sometimes chaotic debate, school board directors narrowly failed to reinstate mandatory masking within the board Thursday night. Six directors voted in favor of the motion to require masks, and six voted against. Due to the tie, the motion was not passed.
The vote, which took place two days after discussions on mask mandates first began, was disrupted by unruly anti-mandatory attendees and was eventually rescheduled. the police were called.
As a result, Thursday’s debate was held virtually “for safety reasons,” according to a board statement. Some anti-mandate protesters had planned to gather outside the school board building during the debate.
Trustee Nili Kaplan Maas, the doctor who filed the original motion, said he was disappointed with the outcome.
“For the health and safety of our students and educators, we are deeply disappointed that we cannot do more to reduce respiratory virus transmission. , people with disabilities, people without the ability to take sick leave, families living in poverty, multi-generational households, and the youngest and oldest members of our communities. are exposed to
A motion calling for a return to mandatory masks in schools has been amended to exempt those who find wearing them harmful or disruptive, and teachers to wear masks to set an example. Encouraged but not forced to wear masks for students not wearing them. they.
Some councilors said they would do little more than strongly encourage people to wear masks, but that it could sow the seeds of division.
Trustee Donna Blackburn, who opposed the motion, said, “It’s really unclear why we spent all night debating this.” It’s the same as offering people vague and ambiguous moves that don’t help and will continue to divide.”
On Thursday, Kaplan-Myrth said she hoped the amendment would address the concerns of those who strongly opposed masks and help avoid further conflict. He said doing so would make a difference in the transmission of viral diseases in communities that are sending unprecedented numbers of sick children to CHEO.
Dr. Lindy Samson, chief medical staff at the Children’s Hospital, said at a meeting Tuesday that a season of very severe viral illness has taken its toll on the hospital (which has forced it to open a second intensive care unit) and its families. We talked about the burden of being.
Even if mask mandates aren’t fully adhered to, “every little bit helps,” she said. She previously urged Ottawa residents to wear masks indoors to slow the spread of the disease, which is making many very young children seriously ill.
Trustee Justin Bell, who voted for the mandate, said he had heard from some people that the board should focus on education rather than health, but Musk said he wanted schools to open and children to be safe. He said that this is the key to ensuring that
Trustee Lynn Scott, who voted against the motion, said she had not succumbed to bullying, but that she had listened to both sides of the issue and reached her own conclusions.
Trustee Amanda Pressley, who voted in favor of the motion, said the school board is the largest in the city and many smaller boards are seeking guidance. She also noted that the city of Burlington has just reintroduced mandatory masks for city employees.
“I think it would be a huge loss for the board if we do not take this opportunity to do everything we can to protect the health and safety of our students.”
Some trustees have received angry emails and phone calls from people who oppose mask mandates.
“We don’t want the trustees to feel bullied,” said Lyra Evans, chairman of the board who supported the motion.
Most students and staff at Ottawa’s largest school board don’t wear masks, according to staff reports.
Mask debate resumes Thursday night at the Ottawa Carlton School Board.
Motion to revive masking not passed at Ottawa-Carlton School Board
Source link Motion to revive masking not passed at Ottawa-Carlton School Board