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To: Scott Morrison

Keep School Kids Safe from COVID

Keep School Kids Safe from COVID

School children, their parents and their teachers deserve to be safe from COVID-19. With tens of thousands of people currently being infected every day in Australia, it would be grossly irresponsible to force all children to go back to school on Day 1 of Term 1.

I urge you to make sure the ‘back to school’ framework gives parents the flexibility to keep their kids at home until children they are vaccinated, or until the omicron surge has passed. That could involve either a delay to the start of school, or access to flexible/home learning options.

Why is this important?

National Cabinet has asked for the States to develop a “national framework to enable students to return to school on day one of term one, and for schools to stay open with consistent requirements across all jurisdictions to be in place prior to the first day of the first term of school.” A Federal Government source has told Nine newspapers that “we’re willing to go hardline on this. We want schools to stay open, to make sure classes don’t shut down if there’s one case there.”

Meanwhile, the views of school children and parents are being ignored. Many parents are eager to get their kids back to school, and we all understand the need to provide a stable learning environment for students after two years of interruptions. But other parents remain deeply concerned about putting their children’s health at risk - before they can be vaccinated and while the virus is spreading at an alarming rate. This is particularly concerning for children with chronic health conditions, and for parents who have underlying health issues and have spent two years avoiding high-risk environments.

Earlier this year the Prime Minister said individuals should take “personal responsibility” for avoiding COVID-19, but by taking a “hardline” stance on schools the Prime Minister is denying families the opportunity to make sensible and informed decisions about their own safety.

The ‘back to school’ framework must give parents the flexibility to keep their kids at home until children are vaccinated or until the omicron surge has passed. That could involve either a delay to the start of school, or access to flexible/home learning options.

How it will be delivered

We will email the signatures to the Prime Minister.

Australia

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Updates

2022-01-09 14:36:03 +1100

25 signatures reached

2022-01-08 23:14:52 +1100

10 signatures reached