ANDALUCIA’S education authority has suspended an English teacher without any pay for refusing to wear a face mask at a school in Granada.
The English teacher at IES Iliberis de Atarfe refused to wear face protection during classes after Andalucia continues to enforce mandatory mask-wearing until at least spring 2022.
The teacher claimed an exception on medical grounds, though Granada’s regional education authority saw no documentary evidence of a condition.
The authority said the dispute had been ongoing since the beginning of the school year in September.
Disciplinary action began on November 17, while the authority allowed the teacher to continue giving English lessons by video from an isolated room while support staff accompanied the schoolchildren in their usual classroom.
The teacher is now suspended for at least six months, without pay, while inspectors review the case.
The school has already installed a substitute teacher to take over English tuition.
It comes as two other teachers from unknown schools in Granada and Malaga have also seen a six-month suspension, though details of those cases are unknown according to El Pais.
Andalucia has imposed the rules that anyone over six years of age must wear a mask in any closed or open public space.
There are exemptions on medical grounds, however they must be accompanied by medical documentation and seek approval from the school or regional education authorities.
Emergency laws also set rules for students and teachers who refuse to comply, allowing two days to resolve the situation before implementing strict social distancing rules to protect the student body.
If no solution is found, schools must take disciplinary action.
It’s not the first time mask rules have wrought controversy in schools – in September the parents of a pupil refused to make her wear a mask to school.
The case went to court, however the judge ruled it was an administrative matter. The school expelled the pupil after five days of unjustified absenteeism.