Keep BC Schools Closed until Sept 2020

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PLEASE NOTE: Due to the provincial government forcing teachers back into the schools on June 1st before they are safe to sit in parliament on June 17th, this petition cannot be presented by an MLA for consideration until it's too late. Please extend the power of your voice by writing Education Minister Rob Fleming at EDUC.Minister@gov.bc.ca to respectfully request he rescind this poorly considered decision.

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Stop the reopening of BC schools. The Ministry of Education has declared that schools will reopen in BC, allowing parents to determine if their child returns or not, for just 4 weeks.

For K-Gr.5, children are allowed to attend on alternating days twice a week. Children this age are too young to carry the social responsibility to effectively sanitize themselves for the health & safety of others, but will be at school 2x more often than older children, who are more likely to sanitize effectively and are only likely to attend 1 day/week. Young children are also less likely to recognize early symptoms of the virus, less likely to voice concerns and are most likely to enter the school carrying & spreading the virus.

Some employers may expect their employees with children to willingly return to the workplace now that the option of part-time education is available. For many, the decision to send their kids to school is less a voluntary one and more a forced risk. This will likely further increase the possibility of asymptomatic children spreading infection, both in schools & at their parents workplace.

Teachers are expected to increase risk to themselves, to their families and to teach students both online & in the classroom for no additional compensation. Teachers have been advised not to wear PPE, including a mask, in class for fear of upsetting the children.(UPDATE May21: Teachers are now reporting that they have been advised to wear a mask, but also recognize the challenges of teaching/speaking through one.) They then in turn, go home to their families and increase the risk of infection and exponentially if they have children returning to school as well, because they don’t have the option of staying safe at home. For some, this is an involuntary return to school for teachers and their children. 

Yes, educating from home as been an additional stress for everyone involved. But changing it up now, again, for only 4 weeks is an additional, unnecessary risk and stressor for everyone involved. Never mind an unnecessary cost in keeping schools operating & sanitized. The shortest route to our second wave is to send our children back to school; at the risk of our children, our teachers & everyone they come in contact with. This is not an acceptable risk, particularly at a time when the long-term medical impacts of covid-19 are still under investigation.