Anti-vaccine mandate protestors disrupt London school board meeting
Protestors against vaccine mandates for school-aged children disrupted a Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) meeting Tuesday evening.
The meeting was being held at Louise Arbour French Immersion Public School on Bellfield Street in London, Ont. when dozens of protestors showed up, resulting in police having to attend.
On the agenda was a motion to write a letter to Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health requesting that the COVID-19 vaccine be added to the list of compulsory vaccinations for students.
When CTV News London cameras arrived on scene protestors turned their attention on journalists with chants of “tell the truth.”
In video captured by a CTV News London reporter, protesters can be seen shouting insults and yelling obscenities towards journalists.
At one point, the meeting had to be adjourned while police worked to control the protestors.
“Our role as the police is to be here to maintain the peace, allow the protestors to peacefully protest, while still allowing any meetings that are going on inside the school,” said Const. Buckle.
Ultimately, the motion was withdrawn during the meeting due to a conclusion that the letter may not be necessary.
“It is my understanding that the Chief Medical Officer of Health is currently reviewing this issue, and the Ontario Public School Board Association will advocate on behalf of all boards. Thus, I withdrew the motion,” said Trustee Corrine Rahman in a release.
In a statement released to media the board noted that they have been dealing with anti-vaccine supporters spreading false information online that TVDSB was attempting to mandate vaccinations for students.
“This is false information,” said Mark Fisher, Director or Education. “The Board has no authority to mandate student COVID-19 vaccinations and was never part of the agenda.”
Fisher had described Tuesday’s protest as “disturbing.”
Calls to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of compulsory vaccines for students have been growing in recent weeks. Toronto’s Board of Health has indicated that it will ask the province to add COVID-19 vaccines to the list.
Health Minister Christine Elliott has not said if that is a step the government will take but has addressed the issue stating that the province will look at anything that could protect people.
— With files from CTV's Kristylee Varley and Daryl Newcombe
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