HAMILTON – Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath and Education critic Marit Stiles say students, educators and parents need a safe March Break to catch their breath – not more of Doug Ford’s roller coaster of cancellations, delays and upheaval.
The Education Minister announced Thursday that March Break will be put off until April 12.
“Parents, kids, teachers and education workers are burnt out, and they desperately need a break,” says Horwath. “Parents with kids doing at-home learning are desperate to take a breath from their superhuman juggling of work, school and other responsibilities. Teachers are exhausted. Kids need a mental health break from the screens and the stress.
We have to find a way to give everyone a Spring Break that’s safe. Just kicking the can down the road isn’t a solution.”
“They said school would be back in September, then delayed and delayed and delayed. They said schools were completely safe, then shut them all down when it’s clear they weren’t. This delay is more upheaval in the lives of families that haven’t had the structure, support and predictability they need,” said Stiles.
New Democrat’s Solution
Horwath and Stiles said that instead of delaying the break, the Ford government should make it safe – and make schools safer than they are today for before and after the break, including:
- A comprehensive in-school COVID-19 testing program
- Class sizes capped at 15
- Paid sick days and family-care days so parents can afford to keep children at home if they may have the virus
- Better ventilation and investments in things like touch-free faucets