21 October 2021

ACT public school principal attacks vaccine mandate alongside One Nation senator

| Ian Bushnell
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Ron Lans

Rob Lans speaking in the video with Senator Malcolm Roberts. Image: Screenshot.

An ACT public school principal has come out against the ACT Government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for teachers in a Facebook video chat with One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts.

In the video posted on an anti-vaccination page, Charnwood-Dunlop Primary School principal Rob Lans tells Senator Roberts the mandate is coercion and teachers feared for their careers.

“I’ve been working with a group of teachers in the last week that are extremely worried about their livelihood,” Mr Lans says.

“I’m working with teachers in my school to try to support them in this context.”

He has been helping teachers deal with the mandate and questions government plans to redeploy teachers away from front line settings if they refuse to get vaccinated.

“Whether they have enough leave to manage this, whether redeployment is a suitable thing for a job that you’ve applied for, I applied for and won my job on merit and I don’t want to have to step aside and do that,” Mr Lans says.

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Mr Lans says he has been forced to make a stand that means he won’t be there at a crucial time for students when they return to school.

“I’m in a position where I won’t be there to support my school and my community through it and that’s a choice that’s been taken away from me.

“I feel like the trigger’s been pulled, but I haven’t pulled that trigger and yet I have to respond to it. And so I am, I’m going to stand up for what I believe in.”

Mr Lans agrees with Senator Roberts that it is an “absolute human right” to have the choice not to get vaccinated.

“I actually feel ashamed that I haven’t stood up sooner, that I haven’t made more noise earlier to support all the other people in Australia and across the world who’ve been faced with this same context,” he says.

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Mr Lans also describes how he has friends with children who have had extreme adverse reactions to vaccines and that the issue has ripped his family apart.

Calling the COVID-19 vaccines experimental, he says he has weighed the risks and catching COVID was a risk he was willing to take.

“I’m now forced to make a decision for my livelihood because the government has said this is what’s got to happen,” he says.

Mr Lans says the mandate does not make sense considering the extremely high voluntary vaccination rate.

“As a principal, I have lots of parents and lots of kids who are worried about what’s going to happen,” he says.

A government spokesperson said the Education Directorate was aware of the video and was following up on the matter in accordance with its internal procedures.

But the government would not say whether Mr Lans would face any sanction or counselling.

READ ALSO COVID at aged care village and school as ACT records 24 new cases

“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 spokesperson said.

The ACT Chief Health Officer has issued a public health direction requiring full vaccination against COVID-19 for staff working across early childhood education and care services, primary schools, out of school hours care, and specialist and flexible education settings for the remainder of 2021.

Staff need to provide proof of vaccination to their employer and have their first dose by 1 November 2021, and a second by 29 November 2021.

The spokesperson said all school staff could continue normal duties next week ahead of their vaccination status being collected before 1 November.

“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 spokesperson 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 vaccinated.”

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Fact – the vaccines dont stop you getting the disease. Fact – the vaccines dont stop you spreading the disease. I agree that its an issue of human. rights and he is courageous for taking a sensible stand. A mandate is not logical or sensible. The virus is not ebola. This is pure power play, nothing more.

Fact – the vaccines greatly reduce your chances of the disease.
Fact – the vaccines work to reduce the viral load if you do get the vaccine which means that the vaccines greatly reduce your chances of passing on the disease.
Calculation – combine those two facts and your chances of catching the disease from a vaccinated stranger is immensely reduced. Your chances, if you are vaccinated, of passing the disease on (if you don’t know if you have it or not) are immensely reduced.

Surely Mr Lans’ judgement is questionable. He may share the conspiracy seeking Senator’s views and that is his right. To share them so publicly brings him into disrepute and reflects poorly on those who appointed him to a position of leadership. It is his right to choose not to be vaccinated, but the greater freedom must be given to the community, principally, the children who cannot be vaccinated, their families and his colleagues, the protection afforded by vaccination

Seriously! Is there anything to discuss. The safety of our children is paramount. I question if this person and the teachers he is supporting are in the right job if they want to put ‘personal freedom’ above protecting our vulnerable little children for whom there is no vaccine at the moment. Can’t believe this person is a school principal if he doesn’t trust in the science or show leadership on what could be a life or death situation. Minister please take action.

Have you actually looked at how these vaccines dont actually work that well, and how in highly vaccinated countries like Israel, on average 50% of people in hospital are fully vaccinated?

Well now! My wife and I are in our 70s and we went and got our vaccine shots as soon as we could under 1b or whatever it was!

And I did get a reaction, down my LHS for 2-3 days. A bit of muscle pain , and it did make getting to sleep a bit harder than usual. But only after the first shot.

12 weeks later the 2nd shot didn’t cause any real discomfort beyond it being apparent I’d had an injection.

And, I’d do it all again in a heart-beat. When / if a booster shot gets recommended we’ll be in the queue.

I spent a good deal of my career in health-informatics, billing and risk management.

IMO, unless you Dr states that you shouldn’t, and gives on why, we ALL should get these shots.

I see it as a duty. As the USMarineCorps chaps I met during my service would say – ‘It’s a dooty, suh!’

ChrisinTurner1:46 pm 21 Oct 21

I presume he is now the ex-principal of the primary school. Makes you wonder about the selection criteria for principal positions.

Id rather have a principal with a backbone, than a coward who folds under pressure…

It’s not really shocking to be alongside One Nation anymore considering the comments about skilled immigration by the former NSW Labor leader Michael Daley.

You would have to question the judgement of anybody sharing a platform with Senator Roberts who maintains climate change is all BS.

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