The teachers union has said parents should not ask their teacher whether or not they are vaccinated for COVID-19 after a Canberra principal appeared in a video criticising the vaccine mandate for ACT school staff.
Australian Education Union senior industrial officer Patrick Judge said he could not give the number of school staff who were not vaccinated but there were very few staff in contact with the union about the mandate.
"We would prefer that parents didn't inquire into matters that might be asking our members to disclose personal medical information, particularly for those members of ours who, for medical reasons, may be unable to be vaccinated," he said.
It comes after Charwood-Dunlop School principal Rob Lans appeared in a video on a Facebook page with Queensland Senator Malcolm Roberts.
According to ABC reports, Mr Lans said he had been working with a group of teachers who were concerned about their livelihood and was trying to support some staff in his school to take leave or be redeployed to other positions as a result of the vaccine mandate.
"So I am ... going to stand up for what I believe in and stand up for the value of that choice, that pro-information, making informed decisions - it is absolute human rights.
"I actually feel ashamed that I haven't stood up sooner."
He questioned why the mandate was necessary if the ACT's vaccination rate was so high.
An Education Directorate spokeswoman said the directorate was aware of the video circulating on social media and was following up using internal procedures.
"Vaccination coverage is a key component of the return to school plan. High levels of vaccination combined with public health social measures are the best protections against COVID-19," the spokeswoman said.
"ACT school-based staff already have very high vaccination rates. When we surveyed public school teachers and staff, approximately 97 per cent of people who responded were already on track to be fully vaccinated."
A vaccine mandate for some school staff was announced last week. The health direction requires staff working in early childhood education, primary schools, out of school hours care and specialist and flexible education setting to be fully vaccinated.
They must provide proof to their employer of one dose by November 1 and a second dose by November 29.
"Public school staff in these settings who choose not to be vaccinated without an exemption will be supported to work from home where suitable duties can be identified, or redeployed to suitable duties within the Education Directorate or broader public service," the directorate spokeswoman said.
Mr Judge said the video would not impact on community sentiment about COVID-19 vaccinations.
"I think it's fairly clear in the ACT that there is broad support for ensuring that we're vaccinated and looking after each other's health and safety."
He said the union supported the vaccine mandate for teachers working with unvaccinated children.
The ACT government has introduced another vaccine mandate for disability support workers and in-home and community aged care workers, on top of the existing mandate for certain healthcare workers and residential aged care workers.
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