Parents left baffled by decision to introduce disguise wearing in dominant …

There has been an “unheard of reaction” from parents over dominant school pupils being made to use masks in school.

As the Irish Examiner reports, according to Áine Lynch of the National Parents Council (NPC),she said the organisation has been contacted by thousands of parents.

Since Wednesday, the Government has asked schools to ensure that students in third class and above use masks in the classroom and other settings.

The decision came following advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet). Students who do not use masks can be refused entry to the school if they do not have a certificate from a GP.

Ms Lynch said parents who contacted the NPC were “really confused” as to why the measure has been brought in.

Speaking to RTÉ radio, she said parents were worried about their children, with particular concerns over children’s anxiety levels.

“Their main concern was why was it being brought in,” said Ms Lynch.

“They didn’t feel that they had been given enough information to understand why their children now needed to use masks when all by this pandemic, that hasn’t been required.

“I think that piece has been really difficult for parents.”

Control over the situation

Ms Lynch said that at this point, the council hasn’t heard of any child being excluded for not wearing a disguise.

She said that from what they have heard from schools is that they are doing their “very best to manage the situation” and that schools are “showing flexibility in how they’re dealing with it”.

The mixed messaging around whether the masks in the classroom was advised or required “brings difficulties”, Ms Lynch additional.

“When parents have got concerns about putting a disguise on their child, they will cling to any message that makes it sound like that they have control over this situation.”

Ms Lynch said that better information was needed around the decision and parents needed to get an understanding as to why disguise wearing is now such an issue.

She highlighted how when the whole population was unvaccinated and hospitals were “bursting at the seams” parents were being told it was “inappropriate for under 13-year-olds to use confront masks”.

She said parents were confused with the messaging, adding: “When [parents] are confused, and also feel that they don’t want to put masks on their children for their own concerns, that leads to anger in a lot of situations. And I think that’s what we’re hearing.”

Ms Lynch said that parents feel February is too far away for a review of the requirement, especially if a child is struggling while wearing a disguise.

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