Mother let her daughter miss school for 20 months because of fear of Covid

Lisa Diaz said she will only bring her daughter, Helena, back to school when she gets her double vaccinations (Image: Lisa Diaz/@Sandyboots2020)

A mother of two is adamant she will only send her daughter back to primary school when she gets her double vaccinations despite the threat of legal action for poor attendance.

Lisa Diaz pulled nine-year-old Helena out of her classroom in March 2020 because she believed the government’s precautions to protect children from Covid were inadequate.

Ms Diaz said school is like petri dishes for the virus and she is continuing to attend school at the home of Helena, who has dyslexia, despite threats of fines and being taken to family court .

She also dragged her son, 12-year-old Alex, out of her school in the first batch but sent him back about three weeks ago after he was stabbed by both.

Ms. Diaz, from Wigan, is currently facing prosecution by local authorities over Helena’s 20-month absence from Woodfield Primary School.

She said: ‘I am taking this stance to protect my family, including my clinically vulnerable mother, and to protect myself, as I have an underlying health issue. .

‘There are no mitigating measures in schools. Zero. There is a restroom in elementary school [unnecessary cleaning processes including scrubbing of surfaces], this is useless, because the virus is airborne.

‘There is no mask and no ventilation other than opening the windows, weather permitting. In Belgium they have made it a rule that children must wear masks from the age of six or older but there are big problems with masks here that I don’t understand.

‘There is no vaccination in primary schools and no isolation of close contacts, so my daughter can be seated next to someone whose father or mother or sibling has Covid at home. .’

Lisa Diaz pulled her daughter Helena out of the classroom because she believed Covid precautions were not enough to protect children (Image: Lisa Diaz)

Ms. Diaz has been monitoring comments from government health advisers and other official communications, but believes this does not translate to a safe environment for primary schools.

She said: “School is like a petri dish of Covid and that is completely unacceptable.

‘According to the Office for National Statistics, there are 80,000 children living with Covid long-term and we have to dismiss the idea that Covid is a benign childhood illness. The approach is criminal. You cannot have herd immunity without a vaccine. ‘

Ms Diaz, 40, was sent a letter by Wigan Council saying Helena’s ‘poor attendance record’ could land her a fine of up to £2,500 and could also lead to family court proceedings.

The home-based sales mother said Helena took the course remotely before the face-to-face learning program resumed and she is delighted that her daughter is taking the outdoor lessons.

She received a boost in her fight today when epidemiologist Deepti Gurdascani, of Queen Mary University of London, said on Twitter that ‘the DFE policy has led to widespread dissemination in the school. school’ and parents should not be prosecuted for removing children.

Mrs Diaz said: ‘I hope my daughter can get vaccinated really soon and when she gets vaccinated I’ll take her back to class with a really premium mask. Every day I sent Helena’s brief to the school for help, but every day I was ignored.

‘I really don’t want to go to court for protecting myself and my family during a pandemic but the risk assessment does not reduce the risk of transmission to the lowest realistic level and it has not been updated according to Omicron, either. so I’m ‘I’m not sure if that will go to court.’

Lisa Diaz faces fines and possible family court for refusing to send her daughter Helena back to primary school (Image: Lisa Diaz)

Ms Diaz told she was not the only parent in the UK to be threatened with court because they took a child out of school under a Covid arrangement.

“My case was one of many and it was a farce,” she said.

‘What is particularly worrisome is the threat of family court, because that implies there are welfare issues. In the end, the worst that can happen when social services get involved is that they can deprive your child.

‘It’s crazy, it’s a complete waste of taxpayers’ money. If they put as much money into making schools safe as they did when bullying parents, we would all be in a better place. ‘

Ms Diaz told no one in her family has contracted Covid since the beginning of the pandemic, but the spread of Omicron is worrying her. She is concerned about her own health, a blood clotting disorder called Factor V Leiden.

Ms Diaz said: ‘We need multi-layer mitigation measures, high-grade masks, ventilation, contact tracing, have been eliminated in schools, support isolation and at least we need a choice. choose vaccinations.’

A letter sent by the Wigan Council to Lisa Diaz, who is refusing to send her daughter back to primary school after her removal 20 months ago (Image: Lisa Diaz)

Cath Pealing, Wigan Council’s assistant director of education, said: ‘We cannot comment on individual cases, however the council is committed to working with all schools and families, according to the statement. current government guidance, to ensure that all children can return to school safely. ‘

The Government has introduced a range of measures to prevent the spread of Covid in schools, with close contacts to be handled by NHS Test and Trace.

During primaries, staff and adults should wear face coverings when moving around corridors and common areas.

Other ‘controls’ include ‘ensure good hygiene for everyone’, maintain ‘appropriate’ cleaning regimens, keep ‘occupied space’ clear and follow advice public health regarding confirmed cases.

According to figures released by Public Health England in August 2021, 0.27% of pupils at school on the day of the test had Covid, compared with 0.42% of pupils in secondary schools.

The study’s lead author Dr Shamez Ladhani said at the time ‘schools are not hubs for infection’ because the positive rate ‘didn’t exceed the community rate’.

In a statement, Woodfield School said: ‘Woodfield Primary School has worked tirelessly to ensure it is fully compliant with the necessary COVID safety measures.

‘A detailed and rigorous risk assessment process is still ongoing in line with UK Health Security, the Local Public Health Authority and all government advice and guidance to protect Protect the physical, social, emotional and academic health of all children and members of our school community. ‘ has contacted the Department of Education for comment.

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Huynh Nguyen

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