Keep Ontario Schools Open: Schools Must Be Deemed an Essential Service

Keep Ontario Schools Open: Schools Must Be Deemed an Essential Service

373 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
Petition to
Doug Ford

Why this petition matters

Started by Jennifer Douglas

Dear Premier Ford, Minister Lecce, and Dr. Kieran Moore,

Recently, a letter signed by over 500 concerned doctors was submitted to your attention to strongly discourage any further school closures in the wake of COVID-19, citing numerous reasons to keep schools open.   These reasons included the relatively low transmission in the school environment, the relatively low risk to children from COVID-19, the significantly reduced rate of hospitalization from the Omicron variant, and most importantly, the emotional, mental, and physical toll of school closures on our children.

A letter signed by 500 doctors should be a compelling indicator that the steps you are about to take by shutting down schools again will cause irreparable harm to our children, who just barely returned to school in September after 18 months of switching between in-person and virtual learning.   If that letter did not engender the necessary concern, please also refer to this letter from extremely concerned parents:   enough is enough.

As of December 31, 2021, 77.4% of Ontario's citizens have been fully vaccinated, with vaccinations readily available for our youth ages 5 and above.   20% of Ontario's citizens have opted for a booster shot, with numerous people lining up daily for hours for more booster shots.   Many of the citizens of Ontario, including our children, have done everything in their power to mitigate the spread of this virus; however, at a certain point there needs to be recognition that we have done all we can as a community, and we need to learn to live with COVID.

Schools must be deemed an essential service.  It has been repeatedly documented throughout the pandemic that shutting down schools exacerbates inequities and dramatically impacts the mental health of our children.     Not every family has access to reliable internet connectivity.   Not every child has access to technology.   Not every parent is able to stay home while the kids are forced to stay home.   Many kids are not yet caught up academically to where they should be, based on all the school closures thus far in the pandemic.    This situation has reached critical mass; our kids cannot afford another lockdown - socially, academically, emotionally, or mentally.   Nearly two years into the pandemic, continued school shutdowns are neither helpful nor sustainable.


Concerned parents of Ontario

373 have signed. Let’s get to 500!