Online petition calls for continued voluntary attendance at BC schools in September


A growing number of parents in British Columbia are expressing frustration with the province’s back-to-school plan.A petition calling on the government to keep fall back to school optional gathered more than 1,500 signatures online Monday morning.

The BCTF requests a postponement of the start of the school year

The BCTF requests a postponement of the start of the school year

“Classroom instruction should remain voluntary until clear evidence-based plans, guidelines, actions, enforcement and infrastructure are in place for our schools to ensure that all involved – our children, staff and their families – can be safe, ”the petition reads.

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“It is irresponsible to assume that students and school staff will not infect others more and bring the virus home; UNTIL WHAT HAPPENS, back to school should NOT be mandatory. ”

The BC government has sent mixed signals about what options will be available to students who are out of school in the fall.

The province insists that school has never been compulsory and that parents have options on how to educate their children.

But Education Minister Rob Fleming said the vast majority of students in B.C. will not be able to access virtual learning in the public K-12 system this fall, even though the Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health administrator, said they are still working on home learning opportunities.

Read more:

Coronavirus: Details Revealed on B.C.’s Back-to-School Plan in September

“There are options. We’re not saying every kid has to be there. That’s not what the plan says. The plan says the goal is to support every child in a classroom as much as possible, ”Henry said last week.

“We know that hybrid situations will be necessary in some situations, and we know that there is access to online education and other forms of education.”

Students returned to class in June on a part-time voluntary basis.

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The government announced last week a full return for almost all students in the education system. Some students in the largest high schools in the province may have to learn practically in September due to spacing issues at school.

On the advice of the provincial health officer, students will be organized into cohesive groups of staff and students – called learning groups – with the aim of reducing the risk of transmission of the novel coronavirus and ensuring more research. quick contacts if necessary. Learning groups in middle and elementary schools will consist of up to 60 people and up to 120 people in high schools.

A few recent events have worried parents in British Columbia about the new model.

A recent outbreak at a youth camp in Georgia shows evidence that children of all ages are susceptible to COVID-19. A new study from South Korea shows that children nine and under were less likely to transmit the virus within households than older children, but were similar to adults aged 20 to 39.

“This plan is contrary to the recommendation of ‘fewer faces, bigger spaces’,” the petition read.

“It is irresponsible to require students to return to class at full capacity in September 2020, even if they recognize that social distancing is not possible. This “plan” to try to force our children back to school on a compulsory basis is extremely irresponsible. “

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Masks will be available for teachers to use in schools, but they will not be mandatory. Due to the physical limitations of the class, social distancing will be impossible in many cases.

Read more:

Coronavirus: Details Revealed on B.C.’s Back-to-School Plan in September

Bernard Trest, creator of a Facebook page titled Dangerous BC Back to School Covid-19 Plan, encourages parents who don’t feel safe with the province’s back-to-school “plan”, or lack thereof. – here, to protest by not bringing their children to school in September.

“I also ask all teachers who do not feel safe to go back to school not to show up in September. Maybe this is something you can work on with the BCTF, a mass strike in protest? If very few children and teachers show up in September, our voices, who make up the majority of parents, will finally be heard, ”Trest wrote on the Facebook page.

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