Children were left alone in a snowstorm for nearly half an hour.
Two children in Somerset Nova Scotia, aged 10 and 6, were denied access to their school and left outside alone for 26 minutes during a snowstorm this past Thursday, Dec 16. The kids were dropped off at the school by their mother and were stopped at the door by their Principal Tracy Murray. Her reason for not allowing them in: the kids had chosen to stop wearing masks.
In November both children made a decision to no longer wear masks, as they were causing extreme anxiety, as well as skin rashes and colds. At first, the school made some accommodations, though they treated each child differently. The 6 year-old could attend class as usual, but the older sibling had to be in an office room isolated from the rest of the school, not even allowed to go to her locker to get her lunch. On one occasion the staff forgot to bring the child’s lunch up from her locker, which resulted in her going the entire day without eating.
After a week and a half of these “accommodations” the older child started being sent home for not wearing a mask while the younger was still permitted to attend. When the children’s mother pointed out the double standard, the school responded by sending the younger child home as well. The mother was given an ultimatum: either force her kids to wear a mask or they would be suspended. They were suspended on five subsequent occasions, resulting in the children missing 16 days of school.
On December 16th the children were dropped off after serving their fourth suspension. The principal, on seeing them unmasked, refused to allow them entry, and locked them outside. She came out twice, once to give the older child gloves, and to give the children’s grandmother letters stating they were suspended for a 5th time. A local RCMP office passing by noticed the kids playing outside in a snowbank close to the road and pulled in the school driveway to keep an eye on them. The officer spent some time outside with the children, but several times the officer needed to warm up in his car while the children remained outside. Principal Murray told the mother that two staff were always with the kids while they waited outside. However, the officer says he was the only adult present.
The children’s mother says the children are struggling with missing school, and their friends. They feel singled out, as they have witnessed other children and staff going maskless on multiple occasions. The eldest is especially upset over not being allowed to go to the school book fair, as she is an avid reader. She thought she might be able to go, but a teacher blocked her from going in at the last minute.
The mother of the children says she just wants the children to be able to experience a normal education without being discriminated against.
We reached out to the principle, but have not received a response as of publication time.
The names of the mother and children have been withheld by request.