Ontario parent speaks out after COVID-19 outbreak at her child’s school | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed enormous physical, emotional and psychological strains on the parents and families of school-aged children. Children in Ontario and across Canada are expected to attend school as if there were no pandemic raging out of control in their communities. These children, their mothers, fathers and grandparents have been placed at high risk for contracting the virus and are living in fear of bringing it home to other loved ones and their co-workers in the community.

Students at a Peel Region elementary school. (Photo Credit: Twitter/Grade 3 @Lorenville)

World Socialist Web Site reporter Ken Lagerfeld spoke last week to Yvonne about her experience having her child sent home due to a COVID-19 outbreak at his elementary school in Brampton, Ontario. A Toronto suburb, with a large working class immigrant population, Brampton and the Peel Region, of which it is part, have emerged as the epicentre of the pandemic in Canada’s most populous province. The more infectious and lethal B.1.1.7 variant is running rampant through the region’s schools and workplaces, as was recently shown by a massive outbreak at one of Amazon’s largest Canadian warehouses.


Ken Lagerfeld: What was your initial reaction when you learned that your son’s school was being closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak?

Yvonne: My first reaction was shock, to be honest with you. I did not expect a full closure of my son’s whole school. But I guess it had to happen—it was a necessary measure that they had to do. I was shocked, concerned and scared at the same time.

This past Sunday, they sent out an email advising that there were four separate COVID cases in four separate classrooms, but the school was not shut down. I did not see that email. My son went to school as usual on Monday, and I was at work. Around 11:00 a.m. I just happened to check my personal email account and saw that the school had sent an email letting us know that the school was closing because a whole lot of teachers had to isolate and to come pick up our kids ASAP.

So I sent my father, who is 73 years old, to go get my son from school, since I was at work. I am angry that I had to do that because now my father is at risk too, after going into the school, and my elderly mother, too. I did not have time to think about it at the time.

KL: Were you satisfied about how the school notified you? Do you feel you got all the necessary info you needed to feel safe?

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