On Thursday, a central Alberta high school student was requested to leave for declining to put on a mask on the first day of classes on Wednesday. Clearview Public Schools in Stettler said the legal guardian would be requested to pick up the student from school if he/she refuses to wear a mask and where age-appropriate.
A woman identifying herself as the mother of the student said in a post on social media that she was proud of his leadership and called rule-followers sheep. She also requested a school staff to escort him off the property. According to the school division, RCMP did not have any “direct involvement” with the graduating student. A statement from Clearview Public Schools reads, “For the safety of our students and staff, we are asking for masks to be worn where the Chief Medical Officer has required this, including in common areas and hallways and for our students in Grade 4 to 12.”
The statement alludes to a public health order recently signed by Deena Hinshaw, the province’s top doctor, which made official her recommendations for Alberta schools. The regulation is also noted in the school division’s 2020 re-entry handbook. The rules read, “In the event that any person refuses to leave school property by the school principal in accordance with Education Act s.197(f) and Education Act s.256, the student (if age-appropriate) and the legal guardian would be informed that RCMP may be requested for supports.”
Those sections mandate no one should disturb or interrupt school or act in a way that is “detrimental to the safe operations of a school” and give principals the power to “maintain order and discipline.” Mounties indicated that the responding officer did not interact with the student or their father after receiving a request from the school. Mask use in Grades 4 through 12 in shared areas is mandatory in Alberta. The government has issued two masks per student and staff. It requires students to wear masks while seated, distanced from each other as far as possible, and not facing each other.