BC Liberals slam Horgan’s one-size-fits-all approach to school safety

BC Liberal Education Critic Jackie Tegart on Wednesday joined calls from parents and educators for Premier John Horgan and the NDP to give school districts more flexibility to implement additional health and safety measures to protect against rising COVID-19 exposures, including recent exposures to the more infectious U.K.-variant.

“We have advocated for the province to ensure that there is a consistent safety plan in place to deal with the pandemic — including ventilation — around B.C.,” said Tegart. “But as variants arise in clusters, John Horgan’s one-size-fits-all approach to B.C. schools’ health and safety plans isn’t cutting it. As issues emerge, school districts need the flexibility to increase the level of protection to ensure all students and teachers can feel safe in classrooms.”

The NDP has faced calls from parents, teachers, the BC Teachers’ Federation, and even the Prime Minister to implement additional health and safety measures in schools, such as using COVID rapid tests in classrooms, but Horgan and the NDP have offered little action, said the BC Liberals.

“Dr. Henry has made it clear that this is a decision for the province to make, but John Horgan continues to do nothing — and fear is growing for parents, students, teachers and other staff,” said Tegart. “Nobody knows our school districts better than our school boards, so we are asking John Horgan to give them the flexibility to go beyond the current provincial health and safety plan to add the extra layers of protection where they see fit and meet the unique challenges they face within their own districts.”