A day after the BC government announced that the start of the school year would be delayed by two days, a group in Vancouver is planning a rally Thursday afternoon to voice its concern’s over the provincial government’s back-to-school plan.
The group, which was created on Facebook and calls itself Safe September BC, said the rally will take place at the Joyce-Collingwood SkyTrain station from 2 pm to 3:30 pm.
On Wednesday, Education Minister Rob Fleming announced that students would be back in the classroom as of September 10, rather than September 8, as originally planned.
The delay is meant to ensure “schools are ready to welcome students into classrooms,” the province said, and the “gradual restart” is meant to give “extra time to orient students and staff on the new health and safety measures” in place.
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Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also addressed BC’s back-to-school plan in a press conference earlier this week.
“Schools will look different,” she said. “We have to put aside what classes were like in March or even in June and learn from what we know about this virus. It is important to remember that the layers of protection we use at work, at the grocery store and in restaurants will also be used in our schools.”
These layers of protection, she said, include “limiting time with others, using one-way pathways, cleaning more, washing our hands regularly, and always staying home if we are feeling unwell.”
Currently, schools and school districts are “taking the plan that has been developed and applying it to their schools, ensuring the layers of protection are there from the first day to the last day of the school year,” she added.
BC Premier John Horgan also spoke about the plan recently.
“I want parents to know that we would not be putting children at risk if we thought there was an overwhelming risk,” he said. “Everybody is focused on making sure that this is a success, and if there is new information as the summer progresses … we will amend and adapt.”