“All children have the right to go to school and to feel safe there!” Parents worried about the arrival of the English variant of Covid

Groups of parents of students and teachers have put their finger on a rushed start to school. Many messages have been sent to Jean-Michel Blanquer, without any real answers from the minister. Back to school took place on Monday January 4, the Forgotten Schools and Families collective shares its concerns with us.

Back to school and the Covid-19 are the stars of the news in recent days. Between the new worrying mutation of the virus in Great Britain and the return to school deemed precipitous for schoolchildren, we do not know where to turn. Many groups of parents and teachers express their discontent and their concerns about the “light” measures taken by Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer.

This is particularly the case of the collective Red pens or even the Forgotten Schools & Families collective. The latter, made up of parents and families of students from kindergarten to high school, fought for the start of the school year on Monday January 4 to be postponed by a few days. Unfortunately, their request was not heeded. Its members have agreed to answer our questions.

A rushed return

It is the concern that reigns regarding the safety and health of children and their loved ones with the start of the new school year. The new strain of Covid-19 calls into question the health protocol already in place. “The current context of epidemic resumption, the mixing of the holidays already placed this re-entry under the sign of health insecurity", Explains the collective before adding"The emergence of the new variant VUI-202012/01 of SARS-CoV-2, which is much more transmissible, adds a risk factor, especially since, as indicated by the Director General of Health J. Solomon 'children come back from different places in France or abroad. It can reshuffle the cards of the epidemiological situation’”.

According to Forgotten Schools and Families, the start of the school year is rushed and not sufficiently prepared. “It would have had to be postponed for a few days, in order to prevent the spread of the virus at school by infected children during the holiday brewing, also time to raise the uncertainty about the new variant. This period of time was also to be used to secure the establishments with adequate measures, requested for months, and the establishment of active monitoring by tests of students and teachers”. They also insist that children get infected, even if the forms are less severe than in their elders. “All children have the right to go to school and to feel safe there! ”.

Parents' concerns

The members of the collective are all parents of students and understand very well the impact of the situation on their children. “We are all very keen on the education of our children, it is with real heartbreak that some of us have had to make the choice to keep their children with them for a few days, the time to see the evolution of the situation, so that others have put children in school today, despite the risks”, Confides one of the parents. Some of them have even provided teachers with CO2 sensors, in order to effectively ventilate classrooms. A personal initiative that could be governmental.

They therefore sent a letter to the Minister of Education in which he asked him to postpone the start of the school year for a few days. A few extra days that would have been essential to adapt to the evolving health situation. “We wanted a postponement of the start of the new school year in order to finally allow schools to be made safe, as many scientists are asking in France and as most European countries have done. We absolutely care about the education of our children. National Education must put in place measures to guarantee the security of society as a whole, without opposing the right to health and the right to education”.

Upcoming actions

Parents of students are determined to protect children and to fight for strict and sufficient sanitary measures. Although they have received no response from the Minister of Education, despite the many letters sent to him, they do not give up hope and intend to continue their fight!

“We parents, we feel abandoned, even despised: is it normal that we have to personally arbitrate between education and health?”