TORONTO — Mike Schreiner made the following statement on the government’s lack of action on safe schools:
“Classes are set to resume next week, but families and educators are still in the dark about what the plan is.
The Ford government has failed to communicate, and failed to take the necessary steps to make schools safer. The result: parents are facing another January of uncertainty and confusion about whether their kids will return to school, educators are forced to scramble to prepare, and many kids are anxious.
Schools should be the first place to open and last place to close. Kids deserve to be learning in safe classrooms. It’s vital for their quality of learning and mental health.
It’s infuriating. We have the tools to make schools safer. But the Premier has turned a blind eye.
Action to make schools safe starts with fully acknowledging that COVID-19 is airborne, and implementing the necessary measures to limit airborne spread.
That means all education workers and students should have access to high quality masks like N95s.
That means proper ventilation and filtration to improve air quality.
Vaccines should also be mandatory for educators and added to the list of existing required vaccines for students.
Class sizes should be made smaller to reduce risk. And rapid testing should be regular and accessible.
We have the tools to keep kids and education staff safe. And by failing to take early action, Doug Ford is showing that the learning and well-being of children is not a top priority.
This wait-and-see approach of this government is not helpful for Ontario families. They deserve answers, now.”