I’m not much of a rebel, usually. But next week I’m going to be one.
I live in NSW, and Premier Gladys Berejiklian wants students back in school next week for at least one day. I’m not planning to send mine. And I’m not alone.
A new poll by The Guardian has found that 41 per cent of Australian parents are planning to keep their kids home, even if schools in their state are open.
How you’re coping with your kids at home… according to your star sign. Post continues below.
Why are there so many of us prepared to go against what our governments want us to do? Because ultimately, this is a decision for parents to make, not politicians.
My daughter would be happy to go back to school. She misses her teachers and her classmates. I even saw her hugging the laptop during a Zoom session last week. But our family of four has been isolating for around six weeks now. One of us has a health condition that greatly increases the risk of death from coronavirus. We’re not ready to end our isolation just yet.
I’ve always put my trust in medical authorities, but COVID-19 is different. Medical authorities can’t agree on this one. The Victorian Government doesn’t think kids should be going back to school yet. The NSW Government does.
A week ago, we were being told it was safe for students in NSW to return to face-to-face teaching. Earlier this week, after Warragamba Public School was closed due to a seven-year-old student being diagnosed with coronavirus, Premier Berejiklian said she anticipated this would happen more frequently as students returned.
“These outbreaks are likely to occur but we’ve demonstrated best practice,” she said.
Of course, as we’ve seen, best practice isn’t always perfect, with new coronavirus cases continuing to be reported at Sydney aged care home, Newmarch House, three-and-a-half weeks after the first one. Can we really expect schools swarming with hundreds of rowdy kids to do better?