Langley School District’s board office. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley School District’s board office. (Langley Advance Times files)

Teachers welcome masks for students in Langley

The new rules were met with “cheering and clapping” by teachers’ union members

All Langley students from Grade 4 and up are expected to be wearing masks in classes as of this week, a big change after months in which only staff and high school students were required to mask up.

The change was part of a set of new “circuit breaker” regulations announced Monday by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix.

Rod Ross, chair of the Langley School Board, said as far as he knew, the masking was to be in place as early as Tuesday. Ultimately, an order from the provincial health authorities requires no action from the board and is to be implemented by district staff, he said.

Langley will essentially be in the same state as Surrey, which had a mask mandate imposed on students earlier, although the district warned that the change might not be immediate.

“The Ministry has informed the district that health and safety guidelines for K-12 schools will be updated,” according to a school district statement sent to parents. “At this point, we are waiting for the details of the new mask wearing guidelines to share with students, staff, and families. We expect the mask wearing order indoors in schools to be expanded to additional grades and also to include some exceptions.”

“As with any new change, we recognize it will take time for students, school administrators and staff, as well as families to adapt to these amendments,” the statement said.

The lack of a mask mandate in schools had been controversial.

“For some time now, people have been requesting this,” Ross noted.

The only issue Langley teachers had with the announcement of the broader mask mandate was that it didn’t come sooner, said Tanya Kerr, president of the Langley Teachers Association (LTA).

“It’s unfortunate it didn’t happen yesterday [Sunday] or even Friday,” Kerr said.

Teachers and students could have returned with the mask mandate in place on the first day after spring break if the announcement had been earlier.

But Kerr said she and other LTA members listening to Monday “clapped and cheered” when the widened mask mandate was announced.

READ MORE: B.C. stops indoor dining, fitness, religious service due to COVID-19 spike

READ MORE: Pfizer increases spring vaccine schedule, adds five million doses to June shipments

Kerr said she hoped that families that had gone on vacation over spring break were taking the appropriate steps on their return. Non-essential travel is being strongly discouraged right now, and anyone travelling internationally by air has to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return.

Ross said there are issues with any mask mandate, including some people who oppose wearing masks.

“I’m really concerned about the special needs kids,” he said, adding that younger students can also be a challenge when it comes to mask wearing.

Ross said overall he was surprised about the extent of the new regulations across the province, but that the district would get through it.

Have a story tip? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Just Posted

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Discussions about Surrey-owned land in Langley should be behind closed doors, councillors say

That’s what Councillors Brenda Locke, Jack Hundial and former Surrey mayor Bob Bose say

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Rich Coleman returns to Cullen Commision regarding money laundering in B.C. casinos

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

A vacant lot in Willoughby Heights on 198A Street near 72nd Avenue was full of discarded trash on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Fines for not separating gargabe, recycling going up in Langley Township

Most fines are now in the $250 range for trash-related infractions

Luke Moo (left) is raising funds to help displaced refugees from Myanmar. (Special to The Star)
Aldergrove resident fighting for more attention and aid on Myanmar crisis

Buela Say and Luke Moo are calling on local MP’s to take action and stand against ethnic cleansing

Walnut Grove Secondary student Sophie Drover will be competing in the Skills Canada National competition on May 27, 2021. (Joanne Abshire/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley student advances to national safety competition

Grade 9 student Sophie Drover won a provincial contest

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Mandarin Garden in Abbotsford had two event tents set up for outdoor dining. One of the tents, valued at more than $5,000, was stolen early Friday morning (May 14). (Submitted photo)
UPDATE: Dining tent stolen from Abbotsford restaurant is located

Owner says it would have cost more than $5,000 to replace the rented event tent

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Mike Farnworth, pre-pandemic. (File photo)
Surrey Police recruitment not distracting cops from shootings, Farnworth says

‘That’s simply not the case,’ Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth told the Now-Leader on Friday

Most Read