For Immediate Release
March 1, 2021
NDP Candidate for St. John’s Centre Jim Dinn says while changes to COVID-19 protocols in schools are welcomed, it’s unfortunate that it took an outbreak within a school for government to react.
“As early as August of last year, and as recently as last week, I have been in constant communication with the Department of Education pleading with them to review their school protocols,” states Dinn. “It's unfortunate that it took an outbreak within a school for the Department of Education to realize that people with experience within the classroom bring a unique lens to school plans. All throughout the fall myself and other educators provided solutions to make schools safer but were ignored by the department.”
Dinn has repeatedly cautioned that there is a wide chasm between the official narrative and the reality facing many schools. Schools are not the controlled environments people perceive them to be. The double standard of Covid-19 measures for schools inadvertently helped create a sense of complacency in students. Students weren’t required to maintain 6-foot physical distancing or to wear masks at all times. Cohorts were impossible to achieve and, as a result, rendered meaningless. Extra-curricular activities were permitted. Strict public measures were supposed to establish a protective cocoon or bubble around schools. This all sent a clear message that Covid-19 was not a significant threat to young people.
“As recently as this fall, when we proposed a blended approach to help re-open schools safely, Tom Osbourne viewed that suggestion as absurd; I see he’s had a moment of clarity,” said Dinn. “Although this plan does not include improvements to ventilation systems within schools, I do see this as a positive step to a safe operation of schools, and hope that the Department of Education be more open to insight from educators in future.”
For information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, ph/t 709-697-5363 or e-mail Eddy.StCoeur@nl.ndp.ca