Mum who kept children home for 2 years to protect them from Covid facing court threat

Lisa Diaz claims she has been threatened with fines and legal action after choosing to home school her children for nearly two years to protect them from Covid

Lisa Diaz has chosen to home school her daughter Helena for almost two years to protect her from long Covid
Lisa Diaz has chosen to home school her daughter Helena for almost two years to protect her from long Covid

A mum is facing a government battle after keeping her children off school for almost two years to protect them from Covid.

Lisa Diaz, from Wigan, has refused to send her daughter to primary school for more than 20 months, claiming she believes children could be in serious danger from the virus and the effects of long Covid.

But now the mum-of-two is facing prosecution from Wigan Council for failing to send her child to school.

However Lisa says she won’t back down, despite claiming the “malicious threat” means she could face a £2,500 fine and prison time.

Instead of sending Alex, 12, and Helena, nine – who has a learning disability – to Woodfield Primary School, Lisa claims she has been home-schooling the children and submitting their lessons instead.

She said: “Our concern is that Covid harms children. We are seeing a record number of hospitalisations of children with Covid.

Lisa spoke to Good Morning Britain about her concerns

“Independent SAGE said that there have been more hospitalisations in children in the last three weeks than the entire first wave of the pandemic so the narrative that Omicron is mild is just a fairytale.

“According to UK Health and Security Agency we’ve had 128 children die from Covid and honestly my greatest fear as a parent is that my children will end up with long Covid.”

The government has said that children should be going to school wherever possible, and endeavours to keep schools open whatever the nation’s restrictions.

From the start of the pandemic scientists have said the symptoms of Covid in children are much milder than those in adults.

And it appears the symptoms of Omicron are even milder than previous variants.

Lisa says she is terrified of the effects of long Covid on children and believes it is safer to teach her kids from home

Models suggested Omicron could kill 75,000 people in the UK, but so far just 14 deaths have been recorded.

Lisa claims she is more vulnerable to the virus, due to a rare blood condition.

She told the World Socialist Website: “Wigan Council, at the instigation of Woodfield Primary School, is maliciously threatening me with prosecution.

“The letter says my daughter’s ‘poor attendance record’ gives ’cause for concern’.

“But the spread of COVID in schools doesn’t cause any concern apparently.”

Wigan council’s assistant director of education has previously written to Lisa, saying the authority’s welfare team could either support a return to school, or “pursue the route that both of us are keen to avoid which is one of penalty notices and prosecution”.

Cath Pealing, Wigan Council’s assistant director for education, added at the time: “We understand and completely appreciate that the pandemic is affecting all of our families in different ways.

“The government decision to send children back to school has been difficult for some to adjust to but most of our children and young people have now returned.

“In the very few cases where there are additional anxieties, schools are advised to work with those families to support a return.

“We are mindful that some families are concerned about the impacts of Covid-19 due to vulnerabilities and we will continue to work with them to ensure they feel as safe and supported as possible.

“However, national guidance has now changed and schools are not under an obligation to continue to provide remote learning unless the child themselves is CEV or isolating.

But the mum says she has been threatened with fines and prosecution in court if she doesn’t start sending the children to school again

“Though the government has stated that local authorities can impose sanctions, Wigan Council has not as yet issued any penalty notices.

“We continue to reassure parents that our schools are working hard to ensure their environments are safe so that our children can continue to access a quality education.”

Speaking last year to the M.E.N., Lisa claimed she’d been threatened with fines and prosecution for not sending her children back to Woodfield Primary.

She said: “That I have been threatened with fines, prosecution and unlawful off-rolling for protecting my children during a global pandemic of a serious multi-system disease is beyond the pale. The stress has been intolerable.

“It is beyond the pale that cautious parents like myself are being criminalised and not supported. I haven’t received any work, other than a bit of extra support for Helena from The SEN teacher at Woodfield, but otherwise I am doing my own lessons and submitted them in everyday.”

She also said that keeping Alex and Helena learning at home will have the benefit of reducing classroom density and give the others more space for social distancing.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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