A nine-year-old boy in Austria was forced to take a test outside in freezing temperatures after his school refused to recognize his exemption from wearing a mask in class.
In the Austrian region of Styria in the town of Voitsberg on Tuesday, a nine-year-old boy named Jason was forced to complete a test outdoors in the cold winter weather for violating the elementary school’s Chinese coronavirus rules because he could not wear a mask for medical reasons.
The teacher, along with the boy’s parents, agreed to have him work on the test outside as the nine-year-old wished to participate in class. However, despite getting consent from the child’s parents, the Austrian Directorate of Education said that the move was not legal, Kronen Zeitung reports.
On Friday, Austrian media reported that the school had rejected Jason’s medical exemption from wearing a mask in the school because it had been signed by a doctor in the city of Graz who was known to be critical of vaccinations.
According to the local Styrian Directorate of Education, neither the teacher nor the principal of the school will be disciplined over the affair as the parents not only approved of the measure but were also on-site to supervise their child as he took the test.
The parents took a photo of their child at a desk outside and published it on social media, drawing the attention of the populist Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ).
“This incident is a scandal of a special class! It cannot be that a student is treated like a leper despite the existence of a medical certificate. We will confront the Minister of Education and the Styrian Minister of Education with this case,” Voitsberg FPÖ district party chairman and Federal Councillor Markus Leinfellner said.
The FPÖ has been a chief proponent of the anti-lockdown movement in Austria, with leader Herbert Kickl attending and speaking at rallies in Vienna that have seen thousands participate. A demonstration against the administration of the school is now planned for next Tuesday.
Styrian child and youth lawyer Denise Schiffrer-Barac accused the parents of not protecting their son in the situation, saying: “From our point of view, and we clearly have access to children’s rights, it is absolutely an instrumentalization of a child who, at the age of nine, cannot estimate the significance of this whole story at all.”
Since the incident, Jason has been moved to another school where he is said to be cooperating with the mask requirements.
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