High schooler in Sudbury suspended for alleged mask non-compliance

It looks like Principal Marty Punkari is the one not respecting and complying with applicable laws.

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Masked madness continues in light of the incessant hysteria generated by bureaucrats — and amplified by legacy media outlets — around the safety of in-person learning. It could be partly to blame for why Cody Woods, a Grade 10 student at Confederation Secondary School in Sudbury, Ontario, was assaulted before being suspended by his principal, Marty Punkari, for alleged mask non-compliance.

The principal called police on Cody after classifying him as an “unwanted person.”

This, in contradiction of the “safe and positive learning environment” that “strengthens equity and inclusion,” as per the school's own code of conduct; the same document that principal Punkari claims Cody is in violation of.

As noted in Cody’s suspension letter, which fails to provide the section in the Education Act that he was suspended under, principal Punkari also claims that “Cody’s conduct contravenes the Rainbow District School Board code of conduct which states that all members of the school community must 'respect and comply with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws.'”

But it looks like principal Pukari is the one not respecting and complying with applicable laws.

Regulation 82/20 under the Reopening Ontario Act (that’s provincial legislation) has clearly defined mask exceptions:

Schedule 1, under General Compliance, section (2)(4) notes:

“(g) has a medical condition that inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering;

(i) needs to temporarily remove their mask or face covering while in the indoor area,

(iv) as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety;”

Further, section six explains that “For greater certainty, it is not necessary for a person to present evidence to the person responsible for a business or place that they are entitled to any of the exceptions set out in subsection (4).”

To reinforce this, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, sent a letter of concern to Dr. Hirji, the medical officer of health for the Niagara Region.

The letter reminds Dr. Hirji that his memo to require “all children and youth who are unable to wear a mask must receive a medical note from their health care provider is being done in direct opposition to provincial guidance that such notes not be required.”

When I contacted principal Punkari, director of education Bruce Bourget and superintendent Kathy Wachnuk to ask if they were respecting the provincial guidance and if not, who had the authority to supersede provincial regulations. I also asked what section of the Education Act a suspension for alleged mask non-compliance would fall under.

No one responded.

I also contacted Sgt. Spec with the Greater Sudbury Police Service whose handling Cody’s case. I asked him whose duty it was to enforce provincial regulations, specifically Section 2, about mask exceptions. Corporate Communications Director Kaitlyn Dunn told me that I should reach out to the school board with questions around their policy interpretation of provincial regulation and that they were called to respond to an unwanted person on school property.

It looks like police are still not upholding provincial legislation on institutions that interpret them harshly and cause further harm and damage to those who are most vulnerable while taking a heavy-handed enforcement approach with anyone who tries to assert their exception under the very same legislation as some sort of hardened criminal. An

asthmatic youth is now deemed an unwanted person for trying to breathe unabated.

Whatever happened to the right to access a free public education and the right to be treated equally and without discrimination?

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  • By Ezra Levant

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