World Socialist Web Site wsws.org 19 Mar, 2021 23:45 am

Dozens of Ontario schools forced to close, as government’s “open school” policy endangers lives

In the latest tragic incident produced by the government’s insistence on in-person learning, five teachers at a Peel Region secondary school have been sickened by the virus, with one now in a coma.

The latest tragic example of the devastating consequences of the restart of in-person learning came Thursday, when it was reported that five teachers at a Peel Region school have been sickened by the virus, including the vice principal, who is in a coma.“Certainly we expected that as schools returned to in-person learning, … we would see cases within those settings, and in light of the fact that there are variants of concern in the community, we expect and we should expect to see variants of concern within schools,” she said.The reality is that the current catastrophe in schools could not have arisen were it not for the role the education-sector unions have played in demobilizing and suppressing widespread opposition among teachers and parents to the homicidal return to in-person learning.” That is to say, even though the union was well aware that restarting in-person learning threatened a catastrophic surge in cases, it lined up on the same side as Ford’s hard-right government by not only demanding the reopening of schools, but insisting that keeping them open amid a devastating pandemic should be the “goal.

” For its part, the OSSTF focused its broadsides not on the Ford government’s reckless reopening of schools, but its failure to present the benchmarks and metrics used to justify a return to in-person learning.On February 4, it published a statement proposing a “fulsome safe return to in-person learning,” which is an impossible task during a raging pandemic.

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