Belgian parents challenge face mask obligation in secondary schools

Belgian parents challenge face mask obligation in secondary schools
© Belga

Two school parents and one teacher are taking on Belgium's coronavirus return-to-school regulations, calling on the Council of State to scrap the mandatory use of face masks by some students.

The trio is bringing their case to Belgium's highest administrative court arguing that making students in secondary school wear a face mask "will do more harm than good" and will jeopardise the quality of their education.

"The measure is disproportionate and there is no evidence that it is effective," their lawyer Sébastien Kaisergruber told La Libre.

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Secondary school students in Belgium returned to the classroom on Thursday under a yellow-code scenario, which requires education facilities to apply certain measures.

Under code yellow, it is mandatory for students in secondary school to wear a face mask when in school, which they can only remove for physical activities.

"Let me be clear, we are not anti-maskers," Kaisergruber said. "However, we believe that, when it comes to the use of face masks in the classroom by secondary school students and teachers, the proven benefits do not outweigh the negative effects of the measure."

The plaintiffs further argue that the face mask mandate will negative impact the quality of education this year, because they believe it will drain teachers of energy and make it difficult for students to stay focused.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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