Parents and Front Line Education Workers are Sharing Their Stories

TORONTO – Earlier this week, The Ontario Liberal Party launched KeepOurSchoolsSafe.ca, a platform for students, parents and those who work on the front lines in education to be able to speak up and make their voices heard by sharing their stories and concerns around back to school.

The submissions across the province were consistent; a majority are anxious about Ford’s back to school plan.

Here’s just a few of what parents and education workers have had to say:

My granddaughter is going into grade 9. Her mother and her father both have serious health problems, crohn’s disease and chronic respiratory disease. If she catches covid and brings it home there is an almost 100 percent chance her mom or dad could succumb to this disease. I can’t take her in if there is an outbreak as I am on immunosuppressive drugs. – Lyn S., Picton

My partner is an ECE and returns to school this fall. I’m worried about her safety and her well-being. Ford and Lecce have created a disastrous policy. For them, the cruelty is the point. I can’t imagine putting children back to school with such an ill-conceived plan Ford won’t even stand behind. This whole school year will be a debacle; kids are going to be killed. – Tim, Toronto

The elementary school plan is full of flaws. In UGDSB they have reduced teachers due to low enrollment and increased classes to 26 in what would have been my son’s grade 7 class. 1 meter distancing is not appropriate and the only way to accomplish this is to reduce class sizes and increase teachers. Perhaps using arenas or community centers for space to be able to distance appropriately. – Rudy, Shelbourne

I have enrolled my kids for in person instruction. However, without the answers on class sizes at 10-15 and public health protocols being addressed as we demanded. I will not send them. This ford government is not listening and putting parents, kids and extended family members at great risk. Teachers And boards have no answers and therefore parents can’t make informed decisions. A disaster similar to LTC is waiting to happen due to this irresponsible government. – Wendy, Kitchener

My children will be going back to Northlea EMS (TDSB) for the French immersion program. There is a bus student that comes to Northlea from an area that Toronto public health has decided to be a “hot spot”. That neighbourhood will be getting funding (from what I understand) to have smaller class sizes to proper socially distance. Northlea (as of now) is considered a low risk neighbourhood, and will not be receiving the funding to have smaller class sizes to properly socially distance. I’m concerned that our neighbourhood that is low risk will become high risk with the lack of ability to socially distance properly. – Neil, East York

As a school bus driver for the Halton Board of Education number one we picked up our buses we don’t have all the PPE that we were supposed to get. For example we didn’t get any shields, we only got a handful of gloves, not enough to do the job for very long. We need to clean the buses 4 times a day. We have no idea when school is supposed to start. The Catholic Board, the Public Board, everybody is starting on different days at different times. Nobody’s on the same page, nobody knows anything apparently we’re not supposed to know until like the 4th or the 5th of September that’s cutting it a little close. Our buses are almost full. The numbers are just way too high. I don’t see where the social distancing is happening in the school buses. I’ve been driving for 17 years. Love my job, love the kids. I’m always happy to go back to work. I’m not this year. It’s a shame. Plus to top it off the government gave us bus drivers a bonus of 3000.00 a year to be spread out over the school year. We only got one payment last school year and it came 6 to 7 months late. Now they are cutting us to 2000.00. This is why I feel we mean nothing to anyone. – Marinda, Milton

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