VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Some people may be growing tired of repeated protests sharing anti-vaccine sentiments across Canada, but how exactly does that messaging impact your kids?
Just days after protesters were spotted outside an Abbotsford Secondary School, we’re hearing from a child psychologist who says people have reason to be concerned for their children.
On Thursday, the group of anti-vaccine protesters were reportedly seen speaking directly to students as they were passing by. One mother tells NEWS 1130 the demonstrators were reportedly telling the kids their parents were lying to them and encouraging them not to get vaccinated.
“We know, first of all, this is a time of extraordinary uncertainty for all of us, ongoing. And what kids need at this kind of a time is for their parents and their other grown ups to present a unified front that allows them to feel safe and secure in the decisions that the adults are making,” explained child psychologist Dr. Vanessa Lapointe.
Today outside Abbotsford Senior. Harassing students, as they came out. Was told they were telling them “don’t get the jab. Your parents are wrong.” Protesting at hospitals and schools is crossing the line. Police need to get involved. Leave our kids alone!!! #bced @AbbyPoliceDept pic.twitter.com/sd3eyUajsh
— BC School Covid Tracker (@BCschoolCovid) September 10, 2021
“When we have groups of adults who are really trying to create division and stir kids into questioning whether or not their grown ups actually know what it is that they’re doing, that’s unsettling. What we know for sure from the science of child development is that the anxious brain is not going to be available to learning,” she added, noting it’s already a difficult time for many students, as they struggle through the pandemic.
In B.C., there’s been an ongoing push to get all eligible people 12 years and over vaccinated against COVID-19. With school now back in session, that call has been growing, with concerns over COVID-spread in classes.
Lapointe says protesters are unnecessarily planting doubt in the minds of kids, and creating more stress when anxiety is high.
“That, at the best of times, is really just not an okay thing to be doing, and …….