Skip to main content

To: BC Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside

Make BC schools safe

Make BC schools safe

Sign the petition calling on Minister Whiteside to deliver a real plan that prioritizes the health and safety of students and staff.

Why is this important?

On Monday, after weeks of uncertainty amidst the rise of the Omicron variant, BC students finally returned to school. [1] But less than two days later, two schools shut down when students and staff fell sick. [2]

Omicron has changed the game, but BC’s school reopening plan doesn’t reflect that. Many teachers have not received their COVID-19 booster shots, critical equipment like HEPA filters and N95 masks are in short supply, and from now on parents won’t even be notified if their child is exposed to the virus. [3-4]

BC’s current plan takes for granted that huge numbers of teachers and students will contract the virus—but that’s not a sacrifice we’re willing to accept. [5]

To make sure our schools are safe for our kids, we need the government to deliver:

Safer Classrooms: N95 masks should be available, and better ventilation and HEPA filters installed in shared spaces.
Protections for Staff: teachers should be prioritized for access to the COVID-19 booster, and plans should be in place so they can stay home if they get sick.
Better reporting: rapid antigen tests should be widely available, and cases closely monitored and reported in schools.
Options for online learning: online learning needs to be available to students who are sick or who can’t risk getting infected.

These calls are coming from educators, unions, students and parents [6-8]. They have been on the frontlines of this pandemic for the past two years—and they know what they need to be safe.

Will you sign the petition calling on Minister Whiteside to deliver a real plan that prioritizes the health and safety of students and staff?

Sources
[1] https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-parents-in-bc-alberta-anxious-as-schools-set-to-reopen-amid-covid-19/
[2] see [1]
[3] https://globalnews.ca/news/8495596/covid-bc-back-to-school-plan-friday-omicron/
[4] see [1][2]
[5] https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-dr-bonnie-henry-says-bc-schools-must-plan-for-the-likelihood-of/
[6] https://globalnews.ca/news/8501219/bc-medically-vulnerable-parents-teachers-school-covid/
[7] https://globalnews.ca/news/8499505/covid-omicron-back-to-school-worries/
[8] https://globalnews.ca/news/8480530/covid-b-c-teachers-delayed-back-to-school-plan-omicron/

Updates

2022-01-14 19:36:53 -0500

1,000 signatures reached

2022-01-14 16:32:10 -0500

500 signatures reached

2022-01-14 14:32:56 -0500

100 signatures reached

2022-01-14 14:19:45 -0500

50 signatures reached

2022-01-14 14:14:50 -0500

25 signatures reached

2022-01-14 14:11:58 -0500

10 signatures reached