Parents considering challenging children's mask obligation in court

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Protective masks. Source: Kristi Väät/TTJA

Several parents are considering turning to court to seek a repeal of the obligation of children to wear a mask in school, law firm Koch ja Partnerid wrote in a letter to the government and Health Board.

The law firm asks the government in its letter about plans to put an end to breach of law by heads of schools and teachers who refuse to accept a person's right to refuse to wear a mask if it is impossible due to health reasons or other serious considerations.

Sworn lawyer Kalev Aavik said that parents whose children have developed health problems as a result of having to wear a mask in school or those whose right not to wear one has not been acknowledged by schools are the ones weighing turning to court.

Aavik wants to know what the government has done to determine the potential long-term consequences of children having to wear masks. He pointed out that students have reported several negative side-effects. Even so, there is no information of these complaints being systematically lodged or studied anywhere in Estonia, he added.

The law firm also claims that there is data to suggest the negative effect of masks is more serious and widespread than previously believed. Aavik said that while the exact extent and intensity of the side-effects of masks is by no means clear, one should consider whether potential gains outweigh possible negative consequences when laying down any and all mask-wearing obligations.

The website of the Estonian Health Board reads that a person's statement according to which they have a contraindication to wearing a mask is sufficient. Aavik said that even so, there have been several cases where heads of schools or teachers have not made corresponding exceptions or have demanded proof of contraindication, making it impossible for children to attend school.

Therefore, alternatives that respect the well-being of children to an absolute obligation to weak a mask should be considered, for example, the right to remove the mask after sitting down in class, the sworn lawyer said.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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