The 90% Project: Northland tutor - 'No vaccination, no maths lessons'

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The 90% Project: Northland tutor - 'No vaccination, no maths lessons'

A Kerikeri tuition teacher is imposing a “no jab, no maths lessons” mandate for her students as an effort to increase the vaccination numbers in Northland.

Heather Mackay, 75, sent out an email to all the parents earlier this week announcing she is “stepping up to the mark” and will only allow the vaccinated students to attend her class in term 4 which begins on October 18.

The email read: “We are in lockdown 3 again, not only because of the selfish actions of two women but because Northland has a low rate of vaccinations.

“In Northland, the vaccination rate is one of the lowest in the country, shameful. Whether this is because of the ning-nong, idiot-brained anti-vaxxers or just inertia, who knows up here.

“Anyway, I’m “stepping up to the mark” to announce that: NO VACCINATIONS, NO MATHS LESSONS!”

Mackay said in the email that she would require authentic proof of a student’s vaccination before they could be allowed to continue taking lessons from her.

“The good news is that a number of my NCEAs’ parents have contacted me to say their offspring have either had one or both their vaccinations and are more than happy to provide proof.”

She said she was doing this because of three reasons: “I don’t want to go into any more lockdowns because of the low vaccination numbers in Northland. Secondly, I do not want kids’ education to be disrupted and lastly, I have always fought for sense over nonsense and I am not making an exception – especially now.

“It just annoys me that too many people are straying beyond the evidence base and science.”

Mackay was not willing to extend her teaching through online classes for the unvaccinated students because she believed everyone aged 12 and above should be vaccinated.

“If I gave in, then it means I am not having the same effect in raising the percentage of vaccination in Northland.”

With regards to the announcement by Education Minister Chris Hipkins about mandatory vaccination for the education workforce, Mackay said she “absolutely” supported the decision.

The 90% Project: Northland tutor - 'No vaccination, no maths lessons'

“I do not have any respect for teachers who are saying no to vaccination, despite knowing that their decision could harm the children.”

There are many parents who had already sent her the verification and a majority of them appreciated the stand, Mackay said.

“I am appalled to think that some parents are listening to nonsense rumours and are prepared to compromise their children’s learning and education.”

Mackay had 40 students in term 3 and said eight of them had pulled out already because of the new mandate. She expected a couple of more students to drop out of her class ahead of term 4.

“I think their parents are part of the ‘tinfoil’ hat group.”

A mother of a year 8 student said she totally agreed with the tutor and supported her “whole-heartedly”.

“The quicker we all get vaccinated the quicker we can get to some sort of normal,” the mother said.

“Both [my daughter] and I have missed out on many massive sporting events that she and I will never get the chance to compete in again… so we are really angry and frustrated at anti-vaxxers and fence-sitters.

“Stick to your guns, I think it will become the norm to be vaccinated and more freedoms offered to those of us who are.”

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