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Princeton kids sent home from school for refusing to wear masks, says mom

District steps in and welcomes mask-less students back to classroom
Taylor Antonick, 11, and Wyatt Antonick, 14, were sent home from school last Friday, says their mom Stephanie. (Contributed)

A Princeton mom is claiming a win for her children after they were sent home from school Friday, March 11, for refusing to wear masks.

Taylor Antonick is 11, and he attends Grade 6 at Vermilion Forks Elementary.

Wyatt Antonick is 14 and she is in Grade 9 at Princeton Secondary School.

Stephanie Antonick told the Spotlight she is teaching her children the art of critical thinking.

“I am a big advocate for rules that are logical and serve a purpose,” she said.

She believes there is no logic or science behind requiring school kids to wear masks while most mandates were lifted late last week.

Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry indicated the school mask mandate will be lifted following spring break.

Antonick instructed her children to ask at school for a legitimate reason why masks would be required and feel that neither received an acceptable answer.

Wyatt was sent home, she said, and Antonick received a phone call and was told that Taylor would sit alone in a classroom, or could be picked up.

After numerous communications with school and school district officials, Antonick was assured her kids would be welcomed back into the classroom without masks.

A message sent to her by district vice-superintendent Jameel Aziz on Monday confirmed that information.

“We do not have policy specific to mask-wearing as we respond to the Ministry of Education guidelines that come from the provincial health officer,” the messages states.

Spring Break for SD58 starts March 21, and while the order is to keep mask-wearing in place until then, the district stated it would not exclude students or send them home if they decide not to wear one.

Antonick stressed she and her family are “not anti-mask…We have been doing our best for two years.”

Aziz was not available to comment before the Spotlight went to press. However last week, speaking generally about masks, he said the district had received some inquiries from parents regarding the extended mandate, and staff were answering questions and supplying information.

Related: Mask mandate lifts in B.C. Friday, COVID vaccine card program to end April 8

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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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