Revise the Alberta Government's School Re-Entry Plan

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Revise the Alberta Government's School Re-Entry Plan

This petition made change with 752 supporters!
Monique Pablo started this petition to Premier Jason Kenney and Education Minister Adriana LaGrange

I am the mother of a six year old girl. Despite the fact that my daughter loves school, she recently told me that she doesn't want to go back in September. When I asked her why, she said that other kids might not "do the social distancing" and that she is scared of getting the bad virus. She is not the only one who is scared. Our provincial government's school re-entry plan falls drastically short in its ability to implement the recommended health practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our province.

According to the Alberta government, students will be expected to return to class for the 2020/21 school year under Scenario 1: In-Class learning with enhanced health and safety measures. This scenario is fraught with problems, among which are the following:

  1. The physical distancing recommendations made by the province's chief medical officer of keeping at least 2 meters distance from others are not feasible in a school setting given the current class sizes.
  2. The use of masks in schools is not currently mandated by our province. Even if masks were to be mandated, the World Health Organization [WHO] recently stated that the use of masks alone is inadequate to prevent the spread of the virus. According to their June 5, 2020 report, "Whether or not masks are used, compliance with hand hygiene, physical distancing and other infection prevention and control (IPC) measures are critical to prevent human-to human transmission of COVID-19". In addition, the report states that non-medical masks should only be used for source control (i.e., to prevent transmission of the virus from an infected person to someone else) rather than for protection against infection. 
  3. There is insufficient funding in place to implement the necessary hygiene practices to keep students and staff safe. Provincial funding for education has been frozen despite rising enrolment. According to the Alberta Teacher's Association, school board funding in the 2020/21 school year will be $9 million short of the funding received in 2018/19. This means that the money required to pay for additional care taking staff, support workers, and cleaning supplies will not be available.

If you feel, like I do, that the provincial government should adopt an alternative re-opening plan which addresses the above concerns, please add your name to this petition.

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This petition made change with 752 supporters!

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