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Letter: Mom, teacher concerned with plan to reopen schools

Ford, Lecce could be seen as heroes who got it right
stephen lecce
Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce speaks to teachers before giving remarks, in Toronto, on Thursday, August 22, 2019. (FILE/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov)

I am a parent and teacher in Sudbury, Ont. 

But most of all I'm a citizen and a taxpayer with a vested interest in the health and economy of my province. 

When the decision was made to allow students back to class here with full class sizes, there were very few cases of Covid-19 in our region. That is no longer the case.

As concerned as I am about people's health in my community, I also think it is short-sighted for the economy. Some problems with the government's plan include a general fear that it will cause cases of Covid-19 to rise dramatically, which will, in turn, bring back possible school closures and new uncertainty in people's already stressful lives. 

I feel like spending a larger sum of money now on smaller class sizes in all elementary and secondary grades and schools to prevent this from happening will, in the long run, save our government money in terms of the damage that not spending this money can do to our economy later on.

I am also concerned about kids' ability to go back to school and have some constancy back in their life. There are those who do not think this virus is severe enough to warrant shutting down schools no matter how high the infection or hospitalization rates are. Let us go down that rabbit hole and say they are right. It actually doesn't matter since those who believe otherwise far outnumber them and will push back.

I feel like we have had enough time to learn these lessons and act intelligently and to not go around in circles any longer. I call on the Ontario Government to do better this fall.

Heed the recommended advice of class sizes of 15 students across Ontario. As many other countries have demonstrated, all children that are old enough to attend school are old enough to wear a mask.

All children should have the option of attending school in-person full time. Hire the staff needed to make it possible until the pandemic is behind us.

Doug Ford and Stephen Lecce, you could be heroes. You could be held up as examples around the western hemisphere as prescient politicians who got it right. 

Be brave and do the right thing.

Jenny Romero, Sudbury