Anti-face covering pass in Nieuwpoort schools

This week several pupils attended school in Nieuwpoort (West Flanders) with an anti-face covering pass around their necks. The pupils’ parents say that obliging children to don face coverings is a violation of the Belgian constitution.

It was Tuesday morning that several pupils in older age classes arrived at school with the pass around their necks.  The pass stated that mandatory face coverings were a violation of the constitution and penal law.  The parents point to legislation that states that it is illegal to be present in public spaces with one’s face fully or partially covered.

Mayor Vanden Broucke (Flemish Christian democrat) is embarrassed by the whole affair: “It’s a delicate matter.  We can’t ban the children from attending school with a pass around their necks and we won’t take it away.  But it’s clear that face coverings are also mandatory for these children”.

Sending the children home wasn’t seen as an option. 

“We are trying to find an acceptable approach by placing the children refusing to mask slightly separately from the others, to leave greater distance.  We’ll use Plexiglas if we have to!”

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