Masks in secondary schools

This seems to have happened in consultation with teaching unions and with no regard to science. The fact is that masks in schools have never changed the transmission of covid. Surgical masks are not designed to mitigate against viral transmission, far less cotton masks. Research done into the use of various masks against asbestos inhalation (which is a similar particle size of 5-10μm) shows that specialist masks are required for mitigation. Moreover, masks in surgical settings are changed frequently. There is no risk assessment in schools or education establishments for the effects of pupils wearing a facemask all day, whether from a psychological or a physiological point of view. This is unlawful. As such, the intervention should not have been put in place, without due lawful consideration of the growing children and young people being required to wear them.

Why the contribution is important

This is important because of the age of the young people. The adolescent brain is still learning and developing. Any intervention with has the potential to affect their physiolohucal or psychological development should have been thoroughly researched beforehand. Further, it is discriminatory to require those with hearing impairments to function as normal in a situation which prevents them from communicating and interacting with teachers and their peers. Another group which has been profoundly affected is the autistic community, where social communication impairment is a facet of the autistic spectrum condition. To add an extra burden to these children and young people is horrific, and they deserve better from our government.

by Jocelynh on September 25, 2021 at 03:17PM

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Average rating: 4.9
Based on: 37 votes

Comments

  • Posted by DMullaghduff September 25, 2021 at 16:26

    Absolutely shocking that the WHO guidance on monitoring the impact of any intervention imposed on children and young people was not done. FOIs to every Council in Scotland showed not ONE single risk assessment was completed. The harms to young people from mandatory face coverings in schools far outweigh any benefits. Pupils in England and Wales have enjoyed getting back to normal for months ( England) and for weeks ( Wales) . Surely the science is the same!
  • Posted by Brenda7657Hunter September 25, 2021 at 16:53

    Totally no scientific reason for children to be wearing masks all day in class. This interferes with their learning both academically and socially. Since when did our government get ruled by teaching unions ?
  • Posted by RHarley September 25, 2021 at 17:00

    A very pertinent issue for school pupils. Especially those with hearing difficulties , those with ASD , those with auditory processing problems and so on. The exemptions are not sufficient to mitigate their difficulties in understanding as the majority remain with faces covered.
  • Posted by Smith123 September 25, 2021 at 17:26

    An enquiry into the evidence to support the introduction and continuation of masks in secondary schools needs to be covered. It also needs to include all factors that influenced the policy, especially factors not based medical or scientific evidence.
  • Posted by carolinecarolinemeldrum September 25, 2021 at 17:40

    The masks in school mandate is horrifically damaging to the pupils. They are breathing in toxins that are caught in the masks. The germs that are in a day old mask have been proven to be far more of a danger to a child than the risk of catching COVID. I would rather my child sit in a class of 30 children who all were 'carrying' the corona virus than have them wear the face nappy. The MSPs do not wear masks - why do we allow our vulnerable children to be coerced into wearing these useless, germ ridden rags. If my children were at Secondary School then I would have them exempted - reason being that they need to breath clean air. If every parent did this then it would be like the sudden relaxation by the Scottish Government (U turn) on holiday testing and the schools would be mask free - as the English schools are.
  • Posted by ACM September 25, 2021 at 18:02

    Completely agree
  • Posted by Lucievt September 25, 2021 at 18:10

    Children wearing masks and social distancing at school is not supported by science and is harmful to their physical and mental well-being as well as creating challenges in communication, and negatively impacts education and development. From the beginning the government has not presented any evidence of supporting science and of risk assessments of harms. Meanwhile there are more and more peer reviewed papers addressing the inefficiency of masks in preventing transmission of respiratory disease and also those documenting harms to wearers (the younger the worse the harms). If governments politicise science and disregard evidence thereby impacting basic human freedoms and people’s health they need to be held accountable to all harms and risks arising from those.
  • Posted by cherylc September 25, 2021 at 22:19

    I completely agree, where are the risk assessments on wearing masks all day in an unsterile environment.
  • Posted by LC70 September 26, 2021 at 09:50

    There have been no risk assessments carried out for prolonged mask wearing in schools.
  • Posted by RachelBlackburn September 26, 2021 at 18:44

    Awful that the Scottish Government continue to impose this harmful intervention on our children almost a year on. Regardless of the fact masks have never appeared to have an impact on positive tests which have gone up and down despite mask wearing. Also disgusting that they impose such measures on children while holding meetings, parties and sitting in the Scottish Parliament mask-free.
  • Posted by djay September 26, 2021 at 20:36

    The use of face coverings in community settings in-general should be questioned. Despite the Scottish Ministers knowing there was limited evidence for their use, it was introduced at a time of minimal cases and deaths.
  • Posted by smskar September 27, 2021 at 20:38

    The inquiry should also take into account that evidence that masks do cut down on viral transmission are based on studies conducted in clinical settings / laboratories, some studies even used mannequins and not real people. In the real world we know that face coverings leak.
  • Posted by jlaverie September 29, 2021 at 07:56

    This is wrong on so many levels. Young people learning should not have this restriction
  • Posted by RMC76 September 29, 2021 at 09:09

    Wearing a face mask seriously hinders communication. I am a secondary teacher and have to continually ask children to repeat what they have said, and at times resort to asking them to lower their mask so I can understand what they were saying. Effective communication in the classroom also relies a great deal on facial expression, and the wearing of face masks takes this communication tool away from both pupils and teachers. Wearing a face mask for longer periods can also cause headaches, and reduce concentration. Scottish school children have already had their education severely disrupted over the last year and a half, and it is hard to comprehend why the Scottish Government insist on keeping measures in place that continue to hinder the learning and teaching process. I fail to see how the Scottish Government can justify these rules when the same teachers and (older) pupils are free to go to a nightclub and dance face-to-face in a crowded environment (often under the influence of alcohol) and not have to wear a mask.
  • Posted by DKR September 29, 2021 at 19:46

    Completely agree with this comment. Where is the uncompromised science to show they have any positive impact on reducing Covid? If these masks were really any more than symbolic, we would have specific guidance on which type of masks to use (viruses can get by all unless the face fitting type - which none of these are), there would be guidance around how often they need to be changed, there would be widely available biohazard bins for the correct disposal of all these potentially 'contaminated' masks. Our children are breathing their own CO2 for prolonged periods. Bacteria is building up in the damp insides of these masks. How can this be justified?
  • Posted by jenga135 September 30, 2021 at 22:41

    Definitely agree
  • Posted by jenga135 September 30, 2021 at 22:41

    Definitely agree
  • Posted by nora September 30, 2021 at 23:07

    I completely agree with the original comment plus all those who have so far commented. There is very little evidence to support cloth or surgical disposable paper mask efficacy against Sars Cov 2 infection even in a sterile hospital environment nevermind in a secondary school setting! There seems to have been no risk benefit analysis undertaken at any stage, despite the WHO setting out that masks should only be worn in areas of high infection and if proportionate to the threat on balance with the negative effects, of which there are many: communication problems, difficulty breathing, headaches, migraines, drowsiness, claustrophobia, tooth decay, dry eye syndrome, anxiety, exclusion, bacterial infections, and increased spread of infection due to poor hygiene and lack of changing masks regularly. This list is not exhaustive! These masks are a completely disproportionate and ineffective response and it is shameful that the mandates have continued in Scotland after restrictions have been lifted in the other parts of the UK, plus are applied to teenage children in such a severe way compared to the majority of adults. Masks for six plus hours a day on children is just wrong and I hope this government comes to its senses soon and is held to account for the harm caused in any enquiry.
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