The Safe School Coalition is bringing a rally to Surrey next weekend to advocate for COVID-19 safe measures before the school year starts.
The group has planned a rally at Holland Park for Saturday, Aug. 28 from noon to 1:30 p.m. The coalition is a group of teachers and parents and guardians calling for safer COVID-19 measures going into the new school year.
This is the second such event this summer, with the first on Aug. 14 in Vancouver.
ðŸ§µWe are having another rally! Calling all BC citizens who are concerned that #bced school guidance has no #COVIDisAirborne mitigations, despite high delta v in community, K-Gr.6 unvaxxed, & all grades crowded.
Say NO to @bcndp being reckless w/ our kids.
Sat.Aug.28. Details â¬‡ï¸ pic.twitter.com/wlcfQUEN9h
— Jennifer Heighton (@jheighton3) August 20, 2021
Surrey, and its schools, were some of the hardest-hit through the second and third waves of the pandemic.
The Surrey school district tweeted out school exposure notices throughout the 2020-21 school year, and based on those tweets, there were more than 1,500 exposures at the district.
Cases at the Surrey school disrict dropped “dramatically” as vaccination rates in the community went up toward the end of the school year.
But the coalition is still pushing for a mask mandate as students aged 12 and under are not yet eligible for a vaccine.
In June, Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced schools are expected to return to “near normal” conditions this September, adding there were no plans for cohorts or learning groups.
Whiteside announced an additional $25.6 million in new, one-time school funding for continued enhanced cleaning measures, rapid response teams, mental health help and to help Indigenous students.
Guidance on masking will be announced at a later date, Whiteside noted.
Meantime, on Friday (Aug. 20), Whiteside tweet that updated health-and-safety guidelines “will be out early next week to support a safe return to school.”
“It’s critical that we get students back safely in class – connected with their teachers, friends, and social supports. That is what we’re all working towards.”
We know families and students are looking forward to September. And we know that there is some anxiety about what September will look like. Safety remains our top priority. Updated H+S guidelines will be out early next week to support a safe return to school.#BCed
— Jennifer Whiteside (@JM_Whiteside) August 20, 2021
– With files from Katya Slepian