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LETTER OF THE DAY: Give hope to children by returning them to school

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Alex MacLean
Letter of the day

I sent an email on May 1 to government regarding kids going back to school. I sent this to the public emails of the minister of education, minister of health, Premier's Office, Office of the Chief Public Health Officer, the opposition critic on education and my local MLA. Because I feel strongly about this and feel there is still time for action, I am submitting the following email as an open letter to the editor.

Hello Minister Trivers and others. I am writing today as a concerned parent regarding the timing of our children going back to school. As you see, I have copied others on this email.

I am concerned at what I would consider a premature decision not to re-open schools this year. I feel the opportunity to have schools opened for even a few weeks to a month at the end of the year would provide a great learning opportunity, some normalization and maybe most importantly, hope for the children. It would also be a good dry run for physical distancing in schools that will likely be practised during the next school year.

I think Dr. Morrison has done an exemplary job that has situated our province in this enviable position. The risk to the children would be approaching zero. My daughter was in tears this week at the prospect of not returning to school this year and she has a safe and positive home environment; it is troubling to think about those children who do not.

I feel strongly that adequate and balanced discussions need to be considered for this and there is still time for this to take place. It’s possible we will not be so well positioned next fall; I feel we should be presently moving forward considering the needs and well-being of our children while still protecting our vulnerable populations.

I applaud public health, government policy makers and the actions of resident of P.E.I. in allowing us to be in a position to have these thoughtful conversations. It would take work, but there is still time to plan a return to school for our children that would come with minimal risk and with potential for unmeasurable benefit.

Thank you for having time for my concerns.

Alex MacLean has a school-aged child and lives in Charlottetown.


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