LANGLEY (NEWS 1130) — As school district administrators in Langley contemplate asking more students to learn from home, some parents are making that choice now.
Despite assurances from B.C.’s top doctor that schools have strict COVID-19 protocols and low transmission rates of the disease, a Langley mother says she just doesn’t feel safe sending her children to school.
Robin Kirby says her 15-year-old daughter has been taking online courses since September and she is not going back to her school next semester, regardless of the districts’ decision.
“Our biggest concern is that the protocols in the schools are atrocious,” she says.
While she says she understands schools can’t be 100 per cent safe, her entire family is immunocompromised and can’t take any risk of exposure.
Although home learning has also come with its challenges for Kirby’s daughter.
“Of course the social aspect and the mental health aspect is extremely difficult for her,” Kirby says.
“I would love to see a hybrid program where the kids are actually socially distanced,” she says. “Some of the districts their kids are in school 50 per cent of the time, so their class sizes are 15 and then the rest of the time they’re online, and I think that’s better for them for sure.”
She says she wants to see mandatory masks for every individual in schools and hopes the province will implement this.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has explained masks in schools weren’t included in the mandatory mask order because of there are already safety protocols in place offering “layers of protection.”
The Langley school district sent out a letter suggesting more students may have to return to remote learning in January. A decision hasn’t been made yet.
Meanwhile, Wednesday morning, 38 new school exposure notices across the province were logged by the parent group BC School COVID Tracker, bringing the apparent total to 893, impacting one-in-four schools in B.C.