A public school can refuse a student
Mask requirement : How can schools deal with mask refusers?
It is good if the topic of mask compulsory does not become too important at school in the first place. Very practical things can help so that the problem does not come into focus: For example, there should always be enough spare masks in the secretariat that can be distributed to students who say they have lost their mask. It can also be stipulated in advance that students must always have two masks with them.
I also know schools where the pupils are greeted right at the entrance. Every morning the school management can check for themselves whether everyone is putting on their mask when entering the school. If a child comes to elementary school without a mask and it is not in the school bag, the secretariat can be informed, for example, which either provides a mask or - if a child comes frequently without a mask - calls the parents and they asks to bring a mask. This consistent approach usually means that masks will be brought along in the future.
From a psychological point of view, a reward system is generally preferable to a punishment system. If the attention is always focused on those who behave recklessly and carelessly here, the students who conscientiously always think about their mask and wear it of course will go under.
If I manage to get into conversation with parents who for ideological reasons forbid their child to wear a mask, I try to make them aware that they are instrumentalizing their child with their attitude and bringing them into a loyalty conflict.
Often, behind the refusal of children and adolescents to wear masks, there is an oppositional attitude on the part of their parents, which often goes beyond the subject of the mask requirement and refers to the whole school system or the political decision-makers. In the past few weeks I have often been called for advice by school administrators.
Often there is an expectation that school psychology can convey. It should be noted that consultations are always voluntary. Forced counseling has little chance of success. Another principle is impartiality, whereby the well-being of the school community and the child concerned provide a direction for this concern.
If I manage to get into conversation with parents who for ideological reasons forbid their child to wear a mask, I try to make them aware that they are instrumentalizing their child with their attitude and bringing them into a loyalty conflict. Children are often influenced by their parents' opinions and attitudes towards school. Even if the children are more likely to adapt to school, this unspoken assignment from their parents brings them into an inner conflict.
Loyalty to the parents can then go so far that pupils accept to be excluded from classmates or excluded from school activities. A change of perspective, in which the parents become aware of their child's situation, often helps them to give in. If there is no rethinking, the only thing that really helps is legal action.
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