The wrong decisions are being made.
Earlier in the week, it was announced that Quebec would be entering the third wave of Covid-19. This news comes right after the Government had announced that all high school students would return to the normal, five-day school week, as opposed to the every-other-day routine that many schools have adopted. With cases rising faster and faster, Premier Legault continues to urge all Quebecers to stay home and avoid public gatherings at all costs. Unfortunately, the term “gathering” seems to exclude high schools, which are still set to start at a full capacity in the coming days.
The decision was claimed to be made to help the mental health of high school students, because to the Government, going to school at a half capacity every second day was apparently non-beneficial, but going to school every day with double the number of people during the third wave of a global pandemic will somehow help with mental health. This logic doesn’t make sense.
Many school boards have attempted to fight back, refusing to let kids study in-person full-time. The Government, however, refused to concede, with Quebec education minister Jean-Francois Roberge stating that each kid has the right to go to school every day and that every school board must comply. Students have also spoken out, sharing various messages through social media, as well as attending protests against the return to full-time school. One Westwood High student even started an online petition to maintain the every-other-day routine and is close to reaching his goal of 1,000 signatures, however, no changes have been made.
This decision now puts the family members of these students at a greater risk as well. As someone who has a sibling in high school, I can easily say that it has caused some concern in my home, as well as the homes of everyone else whose brothers and sisters are now going to be in a populated area five days a week when the television is constantly telling us how dangerous public gatherings are.
In my last op-ed, I tried to give the Government the benefit of the doubt, claiming that they had our best interests in mind. This is becoming harder and harder to do. They knew when the third wave would hit Quebec, yet chose this time to open the high schools at full capacity despite implementing incredibly harsh measures which could have been eased instead. The curfew still stands, restaurants have to continue suffering on a takeout-only routine, etc. The fact that people can’t have their friends over but high schools will have hundreds of kids roaming the hallways is simply not right, especially when the Government claims that “mental health” is their top priority.
The Government's flawed logic behind opening high schools full time.