Ontario English Catholic Teachers

OECTA Statement on Government Decision to Reopen Schools Without Additional Safety Measures

“It is baffling that the Ford government continues reopen schools without first putting in place the measures necessary to make in-person learning safe and sustainable, and without providing any details whatsoever about the benchmarks for their decision-making.

Minister Lecce talks frequently about the ‘additional layers of protection’ in schools, but his words are empty. The reality is that almost one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the government continues to ignore key recommendations from educators, health experts, and Ministry of Education staff about the importance of implementing measures such as improved ventilation and smaller class sizes to facilitate physical distancing.

Teachers, education workers, and families have made extraordinary efforts to support students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It is time the Ford government fulfil its responsibility by taking real action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools and allow students across the province to enjoy the benefits of in-person learning. Catholic teachers once again are calling on the government to convene an advisory table of all education stakeholders immediately, and to create a comprehensive and transparent plan that will protect our communities and enable schools to safely remain open over the long run.”

Liz Stuart, President of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association