St. Catharines mom 'reeling' as three children suffer from COVID which she believes came from school

sick kid

A St. Catharines mother is speaking out about her experience after her children became sick with COVID.

Haley Bateman, a social activist, joined CKTB's Tim Denis this morning.

She says two of her children have tested positive for COVID-19 following exposure at school, while her third child is now symptomatic and awaiting test results.

Bateman believes her son in kindergarten was exposed by an unvaccinated EA. We have reached out to the DSBN for comment.

Bateman has sent a letter to the DSBN saying mandates for vaccination should have happened before kids returned in September. 

She is extremely frustrated since she has done everything to keep her family healthy, including keeping them at home last year.

"The ripple effect of this one person to come to work, who is most likely unvaccinated..."

Bateman's children are experiencing high fevers, hallucinations, vomiting, shakes, coughing, and overall fatigue.

She says since their symptoms are so severe, she believes her children were exposed to an unvaccinated DSBN employee, possibly an EA.

"The DSBN continues to willing put people who are unvaccinated in contact with our children."

Here is the letter Bateman sent to the DSBN:

Thursday, September 16, 2021
Warren Hoshizaki
Director of Education, District School Board of Niagara
191 Carleton St.
St. Catharines, ON L2R 7P4

Dear Mr. Hoshizaki,

On Sunday, September 12, I received a letter from Oakridge Public School indicating that my child was exposed to COVID-19 at school. Within 36 hours, my child had tested positive for the virus. Subsequently, I received confirmation the virus had spread to another of my children and by September 14, all three children in the family were highly symptomatic.

Over the past three days, my children have experienced respiratory symptoms, lost sense of smell and taste, explosive diarrhea, vomiting, fever exceeding 103F, and hallucinations. The experience has been exhausting and times terrifying for my partner and me. Beyond the personal impacts, we are reeling professionally as I must close my business for at least two weeks and my partner modifies her work in a congregate setting.

Coincident with these events, it has come to my attention that an Educational Assistant in my child’s class has tested positive for COVID-19 and that she has not received a full course of COVID-19 vaccine. Although I was aware that DSBN had not imposed a vaccination mandate on staff, I never imagined finding an unvaccinated individual in my child’s kindergarten classroom. Given that children this age are not required to wear masks, this is pure negligence on the part of the DSBN.

Meanwhile, DSBN appears unaware of the trauma experienced by my family and others. No one from the board office has called to check on my children or offer support. We have received no assurance from you that extra precautions are being taken and received no apology.

I hold the Educational Assistant personally responsible and the DSBN legally accountable for the trauma thrust upon my family. It is staggering to think that a willfully ignorant unvaccinated staff member could be working with children this young and vulnerable. The DSBN must immediately amend its policies and allow only fully vaccinated adults access within the schools. Should it be helpful to you, I am available to discuss my family’s experience further.

Haley Bateman