Bureaucrats preventing schools from protecting kids from measles

Mon, 02 Sep, 2019

“Wellington bureaucrats are meddling in schools by preventing principals from telling parents that unvaccinated children must remain at home”, ACT Leader David Seymour says.

“ACT understands the Ministry of Education is telling principals and schools they must not advise parents to keep children home if they are unvaccinated, asserting that only the Ministry of Health can issue such an advisory.

“Principals and boards of trustees have a duty to their community. A school is a PCBU, or a ‘Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking’, under the Health and Safety at Work Act, meaning it has primary duty of care to ensure the health and safety students and teachers.

“If a pregnant teacher contracts measles from a student the principal did not want to attend, who is responsible?

“Parents generally trust principals to look after their children’s welfare. They need to know that principals have the authority to make a call if they feel students are in danger of contracting measles.

“ACT strongly opposes bureaucrats interfering with professionals doing their jobs.

“I support the boards and principals in our community to govern our schools in the best interests of students without bureaucratic interference.

“After all, it is they, not the Wellington bureaucracy who have to maintain the trust of parents and meet obligations such as those imposed on a PCBU under our health and safety laws.

“Instead of actively preventing common sense advice being provided to parents, the Ministry needs to make it absolutely clear to principals and schools that they can communicate with parents about unvaccinated children in line with their duty to protect the health of students and teachers.”