A Vancouver woman has launched a petition calling for the province to keep schools closed until September.
Patricia Cullen created the online petition, entitled "Keep BC Schools Closed until Sept 2020," to persuade the Ministry of Education not to send children back to school in June.
While parents will decide whether or not their children return, Cullen points out that they will only be returning for four weeks. Moreover, she argues that young children simply don't have the capacity to understand safe hygiene practices.
"For K-Gr.5, children are allowed to attend on alternating days twice a week. Children this age are too young to carry the social responsibility to effectively sanitize themselves for the health and safety of others, but will be at school two times more often than older children, who are more likely to sanitize effectively and are only likely to attend one day/week," she writes.
Cullen adds that young children may also be less likely to notice early symptoms of COVID-19 and less likely to voice concerns.
As for teachers, Cullen says they aren't being compensated for the risk to themselves and to their families. She adds that they've been instructed not to wear face masks because it will frighten children. However, she notes that not wearing masks may increase the risk of transmission.
While many parents will likely send their children to school as they head back to work, Cullen says this decision is, "is less a voluntary one and more a forced risk."
"This will likely further increase the possibility of asymptomatic children spreading infection, both in schools and at their parent's workplace," she adds.
In only a few days, the petition has been signed a whopping 6,068 times and counting.
Find out more information HERE.