Peel school board refuses to implement workplace vaccine mandate in Mississauga and Brampton

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Published September 16, 2021 at 2:09 pm

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When it comes to COVID-19 vaccine mandates for employees, local school boards have largely relied on guidance and regulations from the Ministry of Education.

In fact, it hadn’t been established that the boards even have the authority to unilaterally impose such a mandate.

That issue, however, was put to rest yesterday when the largest school board in the country, the Toronto District School Board, announced a strict mandate for teachers and staff with little wiggle room for exceptions and no negative-test mandate.

Colleen Russell-Rawlins, the TDSB director of education, said the board needed to weigh the safety of staff and students against people’s right to choose whether or not to get a potentially life-saving vaccine during a pandemic.

“While we recognize that deciding to be vaccinated is deeply personal, we have striven to balance acknowledging that fact with doing our utmost to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff,” said Russell-Rawlins.

“By reducing the number of positive COVID-19 cases introduced to our schools, we are better able to protect our school communities and ensure fewer disruptions to student learning and well-being.”

When contacted by Insauga.com, the Peel District School Board, the second largest board in the country, said they had no intention of instituting their own.

“The Peel District School Board is following the direction of the Ministry of Education, which requires that the school board implements public health protocols pursuant to provincial requirements, and the school board is following the guidance of Peel Public Health, which includes, but isn’t limited to, screening requirements, the use of masks, cohorting of classes, physical distancing, and sanitation protocols,” said a release from the board’s communication department.

The board said getting a vaccine is personal and voluntary and they won’t mandate one for teachers and staff, despite contact with students under the age of 12, who are not yet eligible to receive their own vaccination, at the elementary level.

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