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To: The Ontario Ministry of Education, Minister Lecce and Premier Ford

Immediately Vaccinate Frontline Educators!

Immediately Vaccinate Frontline Educators!

Dear Minister Lecce and Premier Ford,
we demand the immediate vaccination of all Ontario educators against the Coronavirus to safely continue their frontline work in schools, particularly in the province's hotspot regions. Over 160 thousand public teachers in Ontario need to be recognized as "essential, frontline workers," who face the daily risk of exposure to a life-threatening virus in their workplace. UNESCO, the United Nations agency for education, called on governments to give teachers priority access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Currently, there are over 13,000 Covid-19 cases reported in Ontario schools. That's over 25 % of schools, not including asymptomatic students unaccounted for because of insufficient testing. The political narrative that continues to claim that "children are incapable of spreading the virus," is now old science. In fact, it is probable that the majority of Covid cases in schools are potentially spreading between asymptomatic student carriers to their homes. Studies from Canada and around the world have shown that schools are significant vectors for the transmission of COVID-19, particularly with the more contagious and deadly variants that are now the predominant infections. A study conducted by Dr. Simona Bignami of the Université de Montréal and Dr. John F. Sandberg of George Washington University, found that it was Montreal children who infected their parents last fall, not the other way around, transforming Canada’s second largest city into a COVID-19 epicentre.
Educators are well-aware that safety measures such as "cohorting," mask enforcement and social distancing look good on paper, but despite educators best efforts, these essential measures are impossible to systematically apply and enforce consistently with children. They are all the more ineffective in schools that are overcrowded and poorly ventilated.
According to government data, more than 30,000 Ontario students and school staff have been infected with COVID-19. The frightening truth is this: asymptomatic outbreaks are probable throughout schools, particularly those in hotspot regions. Without adequate asymptomatic testing, the government can continue the narrative that schools are safe, that children's mental health is more important than their physical safety - and ultimately justify the political agenda to keep the economy open. Indeed, our economy is important, but how can the economic agenda take precedence over protecting lives?
Teachers and students are expected to return to school during the current provinces lazy-lockdown, to bravely "step up," and face the increasing risk of contracting the new and more deadly Covid variants. The government has repeatedly defended the safety of our schools remaining open, using rhetoric that downplays increasing virus case-counts inside schools as simply a reflection of the increased numbers in the community. Wouldn't that indicate schools are also unsafe? There's this rationalized myth that schools are magically exempt from the spread and dangers of this virus, because "children can't spread the virus," that, hand sanitizer and safety screening will make up for overcrowded and poorly ventilated classrooms, that the exponential spread of more contagious and deadly variants, and our overwhelmed hospital ICU's that are at a breaking point, are factors scary enough to lockdown the entire province for another month - but schools are somehow safe? The fact is, schools are not safe!
I ask you Minister Lecce and Premier Ford, how can you honestly and ethically justify sending teachers and students back into a clearly unsafe environment without the existing protection of vaccines? Is it not your responsibility to ensure the safety of your citizens, their families and ultimately our children?
Our healthcare heroes, our vulnerable seniors, and those who are medically at risk, clearly take vaccination precedence - but our teachers also need to be prioritized in the line-up for vaccinations. They actually need you to "step up, Premier Ford," and do your part - either vaccinate educators - or move all schools to virtual learning!
Sincerely,
Lisa Porter and the included signatories

Why is this important?

Dear Minister Lecce and Premier Ford,
we demand the immediate vaccination of all Ontario educators against the Coronavirus to safely continue their frontline work in schools, particularly in the province's hotspot regions. Over 160 thousand public teachers in Ontario need to be recognized as "essential, frontline workers," who face the daily risk of exposure to a life-threatening virus in their workplace. UNESCO, the United Nations agency for education, called on governments to give teachers priority access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Currently, there are over 13,000 Covid-19 cases reported in Ontario schools. That's over 25 % of schools, not including asymptomatic students uncounted for because of insufficient testing. The political narrative that continues to claim that "children are incapable of spreading the virus," is now old science. In fact, it is probable that the majority of Covid cases in schools are potentially spreading between asymptomatic student carriers to their homes. Studies from Canada and around the world have shown that schools are significant vectors for the transmission of COVID-19, particularly with the more contagious and deadly variants that are now the predominant infections. A study conducted by Dr. Simona Bignami of the Université de Montréal and Dr. John F. Sandberg of George Washington University, found that it was Montreal children who infected their parents last fall, not the other way around, transforming Canada’s second largest city into a COVID-19 epicentre.
Educators are well-aware that safety measures such as "cohorting," mask enforcement and social distancing look good on paper, but despite educators best efforts, these essential measures are impossible to systematically apply and enforce consistently with children. They are all the more ineffective in schools that are overcrowded and poorly ventilated.
According to government data, more than 30,000 Ontario students and school staff have been infected with COVID-19. The frightening truth is this: asymptomatic outbreaks are probable throughout schools, particularly those in hotspot regions. Without adequate asymptomatic testing, the government can continue the narrative that schools are safe, that children's mental health is more important than their physical safety - and ultimately justify the political agenda to keep the economy open. Indeed, our economy is important, but how can the economic agenda take precedence over protecting lives?
Teachers and students are expected to return to school during the current provinces lazy-lockdown, to bravely "step up," and face the increasing risk of contracting the new and more deadly Covid variants. The government has repeatedly defended the safety of our schools remaining open, using rhetoric that downplays increasing virus case-counts inside schools as simply a reflection of the increased numbers in the community. Wouldn't that indicate schools are also unsafe? There's this rationalized myth that schools are magically exempt from the spread and dangers of this virus, because "children can't spread the virus," that, hand sanitizer and safety screening will make up for overcrowded and poorly ventilated classrooms, that the exponential spread of more contagious and deadly variants, and our overwhelmed hospital ICU's that are at a breaking point, are factors scary enough to lockdown the entire province for another month - but schools are somehow safe? The fact is, schools are not safe!
I ask you Minister Lecce and Premier Ford, how can you honestly and ethically justify sending teachers and students back into a clearly unsafe environment without the existing protection of vaccines? Is it not your responsibility to ensure the safety of your citizens, their families and ultimately our children?
Our healthcare heroes, our vulnerable seniors, and those who are medically at risk, clearly take vaccination precedence - but our teachers also need to be prioritized in the line-up for vaccinations. They actually need you to "step up, Premier Ford," and do your part - either vaccinate educators - or move all schools to virtual learning!
Sincerely,
Lisa Porter and the included signatories

How it will be delivered

This petition will be hand delivered to Minister Lecce and Premier Ford at the Legislative Assembly with the help of an MPP. Does anyone know any who will support this petition?
Thank you, our voice matters!
Stay safe,
Lisa Porter


Reasons for signing

  • Keep everyone safe
  • Vaccination will reduce possibly of new variants. All unvaccinated workers facing the public potentially could be the source of new variants. Reducing the effect of the vaccine.
  • Vaccination will help keep our children safe and de stress our educational workers.

Updates

2021-04-06 09:10:28 -0400

500 signatures reached

2021-03-31 17:48:40 -0400

100 signatures reached

2021-03-31 09:20:08 -0400

50 signatures reached

2021-01-02 23:28:17 -0500

25 signatures reached

2020-12-29 13:57:33 -0500

10 signatures reached