COVID-19: Please allow parents to keep school children at home without repercussions

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With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increasing in NSW, we start to see community transmission. Four Students from three schools have been tested positive (maybe more now). School is a perfect place for virus to spread, and it is very difficult to practice social distancing at school, as suggested by the department of Education. More medical experts are calling for school closure. It is one of the measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The UN's educational, scientific and cultural body Unesco says 14 countries have nationwide school closures, while another 13 have closed some schools.

However, we understand that school closure may not be friendly to every family and may have other social ramifications. Therefore, we, the concerned parents are proposing a mild measure to help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 inside school and community with a much lower cost: Could the Department of Education please allow parents to keep the school children at home without repercussions?  What we are told now is if we keep kids at home because we are concerned about the virus and the safety of our kids, the kids will be marked as “unjustified absence”. What we are asking for is simply just an option that we can keep the kids at home, protect our kids and help to reduce COVID-19 spreading. Please allow us to keep them at home without repercussions. You don't have to close the schools.

As a result, schools are still open, and families who are happy to send kids to school will still be able to get the kids’ the normal school life. Families who are concerned will be allowed to keep kids at home for protection. Concerned parents will not let the kids wandering down at the shopping centre or at the playground or at the movies, as worried by the department of Education, because they are concerned and cautions!

The proposed measure is at low cost but with high benefits. Many schools in the US have started doing that. It reduces the density of students at school and therefore makes it much easier to practice social distancing at school. It will help to reduce the spreading of the virus. Children staying at home can still continue learning with the help of their parents and a little support from school.

Please think about kids’ safety, and give the parents their rights to protect their kids. Thanks!