FIRSTLY, I advise all parents to try their best to keep their child safe while equally respecting the rights and care of others (including teachers) also attending a same school or other location. All teachers should equally be respected in regards to trying to maintain their own health and that of their own family. Where necessary, please try to use medical suggested advice.
FOR THE RECORD: I hold a teaching qualification, myself.
This post is NOT an attack on teachers. It is a post about the protection of fundamental basic rights, a possible reply to the rare few at top levels of our education department who are exaggerating, law overreaching and frankly, not being straight with parents.
I fully support good, hard working teachers. The country is thankfully awash with them. The vast majority are good people who often does unpaid work at home to the additional work they do in their work place, but not just see it as that - but see teaching as a true vocation - not just a basic job. I thank them greatly for their continuous great efforts to educate others despite been often government hampered in many ways.
* School refuses to let a child attend because they decline to wear a mask due to asthma.
* School insists on a facevisor instead - but the child wears thick glasses - so another layer of see-through plastic genuinely screws up his eyes and ability to see a board, book, Ipad and more. Everything blurry.
* School tries applying bus-covid law to force the wearing of masks at the school and demands medical data - then later, oddly declines to take it.
1. There is no specific legislation covering Schools and Facemasks. There are guidelines (which are not enforceable, punitive legislative law) and importantly, does NOT undermine basic constitutional rights.
2. The letters reference to public transport does not apply in any way as the legislation that is connected to, is for and only useable towards a movable transport – certainly not a stable building. The Covid-19 transport legislation stops at the school door or gates.
* The unlawful use of using ‘bus’ legislation is a violation of a person’s rights and a further unlawful act (already committed?) by a school for attempting to use a passed Act that does not apply. It can be recognised by a judge as fraudulent misrepresentation.
* Where Covid transport legislation applies, the relevant passed law does say medical documentation can be requested (even if a person is willing to supply it). However, in regard to an immovable, non-transporting building, no such demand is lawful through this legislation – as it simply is not there to be permitted.
3. A school can apply their own rules – but only as long as they are in accordance with the current law.
4. See attached image. "MAY" - not "MUST" - and reasonable excuses are clearly defined in public by the state on one of their own website. There is NO VAGUENESS here. CLEAR CUT.
5. There is no power under current legislation that allows a person to refuse entry of another person who has a reasonable excuse for not wearing a facemask as clearly laid out under the current legislation HEALTH ACT 1947 (SECTION 31A – TEMPORARY RESTRICTIONS) (COVID-19) (FACE COVERINGS IN CERTAIN PREMISES AND BUSINESSES) REGULATIONS 2020. As defined by said bill and also clearly stated on the national Citizens Information website.
6. Under current legislation, only a judge can actually legally demand the producing of any medical (or other) information or documentation in relation to Covid and the connected transport legislation.
The Facemask legislation does NOT award anyone beyond a court the legal right to demand further medical information. It's just NOT THERE IN THE ACT. You can give it but you cannot be forced beyond a court order or by the covid transport legislation. All you have to do is read the acts to see what's in them - and just as important, what is NOT in them. What they give and don't actually give!
7. There is NO LAW that exists – including the ‘Facemask Act’ – that states the wearing of a face-shield can be forced upon anyone.
* If fact, to try do so, is a possible breach of the Non-fatal Offenses Against the Person Act 1997 – subsection Harassment – where it states that its is an offense for a person without lawful authority (legislation), by any means, to harass another by a number of methods listed.
* Harass in this act means to act intentionally or recklessly, towards the other person in such a way to seriously interfere with his/her peace and privacy, or which causes alarm, distress (mental or physical) or harm (forced wearing of a visor – risking further damage to eye-sight).
Further more, under section 5 of what we short name as the Facemask Act (full title above), in reference to mental or physical health, no school is able to exempt a person (child in this case) from their education. The legislation to allow that, simply does not exist.
8. By denying a child access to their place of education, their class standard location (not an isolated room which is discriminatory – and certainly not allowed under any current legislation as a practice to be carried out in a school), the school is acting unconstitutional. It is a violation of a person’s rights, in this case a child, to deny them their right to equal education.
*** It should be noted that as the Irish constitution is the top law of the land, any further passed legislation also becomes subservient to it and cannot overrule its clearly defined, basic fundamental rights. ***
9. The ability to ban/block or move (a child) does not exist under current existing legislation for any school – especially in this case, in regard to Covid-19.
* Threatening a child alone, can be an unlawful act of violence if done by three or more people, individually or jointly (Criminal Justice act 1994, Section 15) on said person. They do not have that authority while there is a legislated permitted, justifiable excuse.
* Should a child/person then try attend education and they are blocked, this constitutes assault or attempted assault without lawful authority. The punishment for this is a fine of up to €2,500 or a maximum six-month prison confinement. To physical block someone or intimidate them so that a block occurs, this is a violation of a number of rights and legislated law.
* Such policies are also unlawful under the Criminal Act 1994 Section 15, part 1.B in regards to inciting fear for one’s safety at meeting such a blockage, and by three possible people doing it separately or simultaneously.
10. * Section 4 of the ‘Facemask legislation’ sets out who and who cannot make REQUESTS – not demands regarding facemasks (not face shields for this is not legislated for) – and this applies only through three divisions.
(a) the occupier of a premises
(b) the manager of the relevant premises and
(c) “any other person IN CHARGE of the relevant premises”.
NOT a security guard or lower ranked member of staff, for example. ONLY THE THREE ABOVE CAN MAKE A REQUEST.
You are NOT legally mandated to wear a mask in
* Credit Unions and
* Post Offices.
* The law states you do not have to wear one at those locations even if the location then invents it's own rules - that conflict with what is actually law! This legal exemption had to be added for security reasons alone, for said locations. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WEAR A MASK AT THE THREE LOCATIONS - AND THAT'S THE LAW.
* Section 5 sets out the legal legislated grounds for “Reasonable Excuse”. In the case of asthma and visual impairment, section 5a reads as follows as EXACTLY stated in the Act:
…a person has reasonable excuse if -
(a) the person cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering -
(i) because of any physical or mental illness, impairment or
(ii) without severe distress,
In this case, face visor/shield being a sight impairment and additionally, the stress this will cause. Either are Act legislated grounds for reasonable excuse.
11. In this case, the parents has the legal right to submit a FOI (Freedom Of Information) request for a copy of the legal advice sought and obtained by the school (as they are providing a form of service to the public), in regards to this whole matter.
12. If another wishes to come along as act on behalf of another, they are fully legal entitled to do so as laid out under the “Assistant Decision Making Act 2015” – subsection 2a1. To deny a citizen this right to have someone some speaking for them or to deny that person said access to a meeting called, is a further violation of legislated and constitutional rights (right to fair procedure/the natural course of justice).
* Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994
* The Non-fatal Offenses Against the Person Act 1997
* HEALTH ACT 1947 (SECTION 31A – TEMPORARY RESTRICTIONS)
(COVID-19) (FACE COVERINGS IN CERTAIN PREMISES AND
BUSINESSES) REGULATIONS 2020