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Alberta Bans Mask Mandates, School Closures in Province’s Education System

'Families are free to make their own personal health decisions, and, no matter what that decision is, it will be supported by Alberta’s education system.'

EDMONTON, Alberta – The province of Alberta has made the decision to ban school boards from being able to implement mask mandates and cancel in-person learning, both common practices during the COVID-19 so-called pandemic.

“Since March 2020, parents and families have at times been told with little to no notice that students would be required to move to at-home or online learning,” said the government in a statement sent out Thursday. “Many families have not had the resources to support at-home learning. Further, at-home learning has affected the well-being and academic achievements of students. School authorities and parents have asked for stability and predictability when health measures are introduced.” 

Getting into specifics, the government stated: “Regulatory changes will guarantee students and parents have access to in-person learning. These changes also clarify that children and students cannot be denied in-person education by their school authority due to their personal decision to wear or not wear a mask.”

Commenting on the new regulations, Alberta Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange said she has heard from many parents and students “that they would like stability, and from school boards that they would like clarity.” 

“Securing a face-to-face classroom environment means students can continue to learn successfully while allowing their parents to go to work. It will also help to maintain and improve student mental health while minimizing student learning loss,” said LaGrange.  

The new changes, which were implemented through a modification of Alberta’s Education Act, apply to all grade 1 to 12 schools in the province.

During much of 2020 and 2021  under then-premier Jason Kenney  Alberta’s schools were closed, then opened, then closed again due to the implementation of various so-called COVID policies.

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