Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Students plan to walkout on Monday in protest against the return to school scheme

When schools fully reopen on Monday, many students may be absent – but not because they have COVID-19.

“We have planned a Manitoba student-led walkout,” said Brie Villeneuve, a Class 12 student at Grant Park High School.

Organizers of the walkout said some students in 40 high schools would stay home as part of a protest because of the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

“I don’t think it’s a safe place to live right now,” said Weldon Scott, another Grade 12 student, Grant Park.

Students want the province to provide better masks, faster testing for high school students, and give students who do not the option to continue distance learning to return to comfort.

“We are losing our education like this, so we need the government to step in so that we can get education,” she said.

On Thursday, Education Minister Cliff Cullen said precautions had been taken for schools, including providing millions of masks and testing as rapidly as possible.

“I highly recommend that those individuals give this a second thought,” Cullen said.

And then there are the parents.

While some are not waiting to send their children back, some are keeping them at home. Others are reluctantly letting them back, but wish there was a distance learning option.

“It’s not my first choice to send them back,” said parent Brett Buchan. “I don’t think it’s good for the kids or the teachers involved.”

The province says distance learning guidance is available when there is an outbreak or when students are isolated.

On Thursday, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin presented figures that show the risk of hospitalization for school-age children is still low.

He also spoke about the benefits of classroom learning for social and mental health wellbeing.

“Young people benefit from that structure in their day to day, regular learning that they can’t get in distance learning.”

Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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