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Find the will to vaccinate every student and teacher before September

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

May 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The back and forth debate over sending students back to school for the three weeks in June that are the balance of this school term seems to forge what everyone says they want – the best thing for the students.

Stuart Miller

While due to retire in August, current Director of education for the Halton District School Board Stuart Miller could lead a drive to get students vaccinated before September.

Students have been jerked around for the past 18 months.

The pandemic that we are now beginning to admit was something we should have been more aware of did throw a monkey wrench into the way we educated students.

Teachers went into shock when they were asked to teach their students by telephone, which is basically what virtual teaching is. There were no programs to help the teachers overcome the problems.

The equipment needed didn’t exist. The Halton District school Board has put more than “2000 pieces of hardware” into the hands of students.

Some teachers had difficulty adapting to teaching virtually.

The public doesn’t yet understand just how big a challenge students faced. The idea of thinking about teaching kindergarten virtually boggles the mind.

Significant damage has been done, much of it unavoidable.

But surely we don’t have to continue damaging these students.

We appear to be on our way out of the pandemic. Vaccinations are taking place and the Ontario government seems too to have learned to communicate with its citizens.

It looks, as well, that the federal government has vaccine supply lines that are holding.

Could we not now commit to having every student and every teacher vaccinated before school classes begin again in September?

There is an organization called CODE – Committee of Directors of Education.  These men and women have clout – have them use that clout and work with the local Medical Officers of Health and get the job done.

It’s possible – what it appears to be missing is the will.

Find it – the students deserve to be back in the classrooms and the teachers have to be able to do what they do best.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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1 comment to Find the will to vaccinate every student and teacher before September

  • Tom Muir

    Remember, if we send all the students back to school, we also send all the teachers, all the staff, all the school bus drivers, at all of the schools, and we free parents to go back to work and to move around. And I likely have missed some.

    This is a hefty increase in mobility, people mixing and contacts, and all the associated increase in transmission, which is good for no one.

    With most everyone in schools not vaccinated, this will lead to a statistically certain increase of cases, and all the associated hospitalizations, ICU and ventilation needs, and, regrettably, more deaths.

    This added transmission and cases will bring more evolutionary pressures driving variants.

    Even the Ontario Science Table estimate of 6% to 11% increase in cases, called “manageable”, will ripple through and put us farther off where we want to be. And besides, what is “manageable” and who decides, based on what?

    I don’t agree that 3 added weeks back in school is a guaranteed life change for kids. There is no tradeoff here with a real positive yield that I can see.

    It looks like just another political pressure mistake in the making. Touted as in the name of scientific and health expert “consensus”? – who’s kidding who?

    It’s certainly not even arguable for the long term sick, and the added dead. Who gets to die?

    Better what Pepper suggests here – “Could we not now commit to having every student and every teacher vaccinated before school classes begin again in September?

    “It’s possible – what it appears to be missing is the will.”