Protestors gather outside of school board meeting

A large crowd of people outside of the LKDSB office in Sarnia watch the school board's livesteam while protesting COVID-related measures. November 23, 2021. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

Several residents stood in below freezing temperatures Tuesday night to protest various COVID-related measures in schools.

The Lambton-Kent District School Board conducted its regular meeting Tuesday night. However, while some trustees met inside the Sarnia office, a large crowd gathered outside.

At the beginning of the peaceful protest, claims were made that the majority of COVID-19 infections could have been prevented by “just vitamin D alone.”

“We’re here, we’ve got our immune systems. We’re healthy human beings and we want other alternative remedies,” said one speaker.

Peaceful protest held outside of LKDSB office in Sarnia. November 23, 2021. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

Many refused to comment as to why they were at the protest. However, offhanded comments and concerns were made about the number of public health measures children are required to follow and fear of children being vaccinated against COVID-19 during clinics at schools without parental consent.

One attendee, Robin Houde, said one of his reasons for going to the protest was due to the provincial government’s recent announcement about sending PCR test kits home with┬ástudents over the holidays.

Although the testing initiative is voluntary, Houde said he’s not in favour of the idea.

“It’s voluntary but then they have a record of the children that participated. By having a record of the children that participated, they also have a record of the children who didn’t participate,” said Houde.

In an emailed statement to Sarnia News Today last week, the LKDSB’s public relations officer said the school board continues to review and gather information from the Ministry of Education and public health officials about the plan to provide take-home PCR self-collection kits. The school board said information would be communicated to parents and guardians prior to the holiday break once more details are made available.

Houde also said it’s “insane” for the provincial government to allocate funds for this testing initiative instead of directing those funds elsewhere.

“We have enough money to send children home [with] all of these kits for a disease that’s not affecting children but the local reservation doesn’t have clean water? This doesn’t make sense,” said Houde. “As we go forward, we’ve got to ask these questions. Why are we pushing the children? It’s not because we think the children are sick, it’s because if we push them for 10 years, it will be normal.”

Houde also questioned the validity of COVID-19 vaccines and the reporting system.

Peaceful protest held outside of LKDSB office in Sarnia. November 23, 2021. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

Lambton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade recently said although children can contract COVID-19, it doesn’t generally lead to severe disease, however, it is a possibility.

The local health unit opened its portal for first dose vaccine appointments for children, between the ages of five and 11, on Tuesday.