NDP keep teachers out of the decision not to extend winter break

OPPOSITION Critic for Education Jackie Tegart is asking Premier John Horgan and the NDP why they chose to leave teachers out of the decision-making process when deciding not to extend the winter break, despite concerns from teachers, support staff and parents over rising COVID-19 exposures at schools.

“John Horgan and this NDP government have once again left teachers and staff out of a crucial decision-making process that could have very real risks to the health and well-being of staff and students,” said Tegart. “It is completely staggering that this government is forcing teachers back into classrooms of 30-plus students at a time when our provincial health authorities have called for extreme preventative measures to combat the second wave of the pandemic, including no social interactions outside of private homes until January 8, 2021.”

The BC Liberals said the NDP has come under fire this school year for ignoring calls from parents and teachers for better transparency in the reporting of COVID-19 exposures in schools.

“John Horgan and the NDP have put the onus on our schools and school districts every step of the way throughout this pandemic,” said Tegart. “Our school districts haven’t forgotten the unreasonable time frame forced upon them by this government to come up with their back-to-school plans. Now, at a time when teachers were looking for an opportunity to catch their breath and re-evaluate their plans, they are being forced back into classrooms without any of the support that was promised to them so long ago. Teachers, students, and families deserve so much better.”