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White Rock dad threatening legal action, protests to make masks mandatory for BC students

Last Updated Aug 3, 2020 at 5:02 pm PDT

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Summary

A concerned dad from White Rock is suggesting legal action isn't the only card he's holding

Bernard Trest is calling for B.C. to make mask-wearing mandatory for students come September

Trest is issuing a call for other concerned parents to rally behind his cause

WHITE ROCK (NEWS 1130) — A dad from White Rock is considering protests along with legal action against the province for not forcing kids to wear masks when they head back to school in September.

Bernard Trest is refusing to send his 10-year-old son Max to class in the fall, even though he was poised to enter grade six in a special school for the gifted.

Max has asthma, and his father says on top of speaking with his lawyers about creating a class-action lawsuit to make masks mandatory for students in B.C., he says he wants other concerned parents to step-up.

“We cannot go back to school because it is not safe,” he says.

Trest says fight may need to be had beyond the courtroom and be brought directly to administrators and lawmakers.

“What I would like to see are blockades of school board parking lots and also rolling blockades around the B.C. legislature until our voices are heard,” he says.

Trest is demanding B.C. take on a similar model Ontario is taking on, including mandatory masks, smaller class groups, and an at-home learning option.

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Last week the province announced a return-to-school plan, which includes having most students back in classes full-time starting this fall and said reusable face masks would be available.

“Older students and staff may use masks in situations where the person is interacting outside their learning group and cannot maintain physical distance for an extended period of time. This includes riding the bus to school where a student may be sitting next to a person outside of their household or learning group,” the province said.

“If students or staff are mixing outside their learning group for electives, extracurricular activities, sports or social clubs, they will need to maintain physical distancing of two metres, while younger students will be encouraged to minimize physical contact.”