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B.C. teachers plead with parents to encourage culture of wearing COVID-19 masks

BC Teachers' Federation president Teri Mooring is asking parents to talk to their children and encourage them to wear masks in school. (via Getty Images)

B.C. teachers are calling on parents to encourage their children to wear masks to school as COVID-19 cases rise in the Fraser Health region, which includes Coquitlam-area schools.

The BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) made the plea today in a letter posted to its website and on social media.

“While masks are not mandatory at all times in schools, we’re hoping you can help us support a culture of mask wearing,” reads the letter, noting some schools have already rolled out mask policies as part of their health and safety plan.

“We need to be doing all we can to ensure we keep each other safe. No one wants to bring COVID-19 home to their families.”

The letter by BCTF president Teri Mooring acknowledges there are students and staff members who for various reasons can’t wear masks, and some learning situations where masks aren’t appropriate.

“That’s all OK,” the letter continues, “Our school communities have a lot of experience making sure people are included and treated with kindness and expect.”

The open letter comes as B.C.’s teachers have called for smaller classes in the Fraser Health region to slow the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

This week, two more Coquitlam area schools have been flagged for school exposures, Centennial secondary, with exposure dates of Nov. 13 and 17, and Roy Stibbs elementary, with an exposure on Nov. 9 as noted on School District 43's Facebook.

In September, a Port Moody high school principal was forced to back track a policy calling for students to wear face masks in class because it appeared to override the expectations of the provincial health officer.

Dr. Bonnie Henry has also noted recently that schools have masks as part of their over all layers of protection.