Parents instructed not to wear masks at pre-school graduation
September 14, 2021
Parents instructed not to wear masks at pre-school graduation

A GRADUATION ceremony for pre-school children preparing to enter primary school is said to have drawn the ire of some persons after the circulation of a message over the use of masks.

But, one parent who asked that their name be withheld, told SEARCHLIGHT that after an initial loud exchange between parents who arrived early and a young man who was attempting to enforce the message sent to parents on the day before the graduation, the ceremony went smoothly, but it apparently left a bitter taste.

“I was very displeased with what went down,” the parent said recounting that parents were required to attend a meeting on the Friday prior to the graduation to collect their children’s gowns.

They were given an invitation which had a note written in ink stating “no mask needed” at the top.

One day later, the person in charge of the day-care and pre-school that is located in Central Kingstown sent a fuller note to parents about the wearing of masks.

“Good afternoon Parents! Regarding graduation, just a friendly reminder that your child would be wearing the same colour uniform that they took their pictures in,” the message began.

“Also please be reminded that we do not want anyone wearing of mask as our school is a part of the church and we do not follow the demonic advise (sic) from w h o. We would not allow anyone to be wearing the mask inside. Or the child will collect their package and leave,” the message went on. “Please let those whom you will be inviting be awear (sic) of what we stand for and there (sic) dress code and parents dress code as well. Honor to Almighty God. Thank you in advance. Looking forward for a great graduation ceremony…” the message stated.

At least one family and their entourage, as well as a smattering of others, turned up wearing masks and kept them on, but most others at the ceremony were mask-less.

“That message she posted I was upset with it because you cannot wait until the day before the graduation to tell people that this is what you stand for,” the parent stated pointing that the protocols recommended by the Health Authorities were generally not observed.

In addition to a mostly mask-less audience, no hand sanitizing was done and social distancing was not in effect.

“You can’t impose your belief on people like that, everybody has freedom of choice…if I feel comfortable wearing a mask why you should tell me I should not wear a mask …this is the protocol that is being laid out,” the parent, whose child was among the 13 who attended the graduation told SEARCHLIGHT.

The Ministry of Health has been reinforcing the need for the population to adhere to the COVID19 protocols which include limits for indoor and outdoor gatherings and strict adherence to the wearing of masks, hand sanitizing and social distancing, among other measures.

Neither the church nor the daycare/pre-school has notices advising that people are not allowed to wear a mask within the buildings but the entire neighbourhood is said to be fully aware of the stance that the church has taken.

“The teachers do not wear masks in the classroom, you see them on the streets, they do not wear masks and they have to go and deal with people’s children,” the parent remarked.

“You may not want to follow the protocol for whatever reason, but If there’s anything you can do to protect yourself why not do it”? the parent concluded.

A member of the household of the pastor who heads the church of which the daycare & pre-school is part told SEARCHLIGHT that he is out for the week and is not available for comment.