Sask. educator 'disgusted' by minister's move to prevent schools from requiring vaccine proof for extracurriculars
A Prince Albert vice principal says he's frustrated with the Saskatchewan education minister's decision to limit the COVID-19 vaccine-related measures school divisions can take.
Last month, Dustin Duncan sent a letter to school divisions to clarify rules for extracurricular activities, saying COVID-19 vaccinations should not be required for students to participate.
In a letter of his own to Duncan, Ecole St. Mary High School vice principal Dwayne Gareau calls the education minister's move "an irrational decision."
"Up to this point in the school year, any students wanting to be involved in extracurricular programming (a volunteer service offered by staff) at our school had to voluntarily show proof of vaccination to be eligible for involvement," Gareau wrote in the letter shared on Twitter.
He said the school's protocol for extracurricular activities was developed in consultation with the local Saskatchewan Health Authority medical health officer.
"Your recent decision has forcefully required our school division to interrupt our current voluntary proof of vaccination procedures," Gareau said.
The vice-principal said the school division "showed leadership" in what extracurricular programming should look like during a pandemic.
"I am disgusted by your decision to knowingly advocate and campaign for an environment that would clearly be less safe for our staff and students," Gareau wrote.
Gareau declined CTV News' request for an interview.
In an email to CTV News, and education ministry spokesperson said the direction provided by Duncan is consistent with the public health order already in place.
"Recently the Minister of Education directed that boards of education must not require proof of vaccination or the provision of a negative test result as a requirement for students to participate in extra-curricular activities that take place in schools," the ministry statement said.
"We believe this directive promotes the inclusion of as many children as possible in extra-curricular activities which are important to help build a well-rounded educational experience."