STAFFORD – A school nurse has been suspended after she raised concerns and claimed that face masks are dangerous to children.
When Erin Pein refused to wear a mask to work, the Stafford Township school district suspended her from her job.
Pein has now broadcasted her beliefs online and a rally has been planned in support of her and to ban the mask mandate.
Pein has been a school nurse in the Stafford Township school district for the past three years. She expressed how within the past year, she’s seen kids suffer in many different ways for being forced to wear a mask.
“We’re seeing kids have anxiety and depression. This is happening in kindergarten, first and second grade… they shouldn’t be having these problems,” Pein said.
Pein is claiming that masks do not prevent children from being exposed to COVID-19.
“The masks unfortunately don’t prevent them from getting COVID. Because the viruses are so small, it can’t be stopped with a mask,” she said. “Making these kids wear them for six to seven hours a day is awful.”
Pein also argued that masks withhold bacteria, creating a health hazard. On top of that, she stated how children aren’t wearing masks correctly and don’t take the proper hygienic steps, making them unsafe to use.
Pein addressed her concerns to the school district, but her supervisor replied that they will continue to follow the mask mandate. When she didn’t feel comfortable, Pein told her supervisor that she would no longer be wearing a mask. After showing up without a mask on, the school district suspended her.
A video was later posted on Facebook by Republican gubernatorial candidate Hirsh Singh with Pein addressing her issues and concerns. Singh also posted how a rally will be held in support of Pein on May 10 at the Board of Education meeting. Written on the flyer are claims such as how the “mask mandate is child abuse” and that the “mask mandate must be lifted.”
The Stafford School district’s attorney Martin J. Buckley said that Superintendent George Chidiac and members of the board could not comment about the incident at this time.
Shaheed M. Morris from the New Jersey Department of Education explained that executive order no. 175 “requires the mandatory use of face coverings by staff, students and visitors.”
Pein’s remarks not only go against state orders, but they contradict the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on wearing masks. Since March of 2020, the CDC have emphasized that wearing face masks is a “critical step to help prevent people from getting and spreading COVID-19.” The latest guidance from the CDC states that face masks are no longer necessary when outdoors or indoors in small groups of fully vaccinated people.