With COVID-19 exposures on the rise at local schools, teachers are starting to get nervous, said Maple Ridge Teachers Association president, Trevor Takasaki.
“Seeing the numbers climb-and-climb is increasing the anxiety teachers are feeling right now,” he said.
According to the Fraser Health school exposure list, within the past two weeks there have been three exposures at Albion Elementary (Nov. 17, 18, and 19), and one exposure each at Fairview Elementary (Nov. 19), Maple Ridge Elementary (Nov. 13), Samuel Robertson Technical (Nov. 17), Thomas Haney Secondary (Nov. 17), and Yennadon Elementary (Nov. 16).
With guidelines being changed in many other businesses and industries, Takasaki said teachers have been looking to the province to make some adjustments to help them feel a little safer too.
“Even if we accept- and I’m not saying we necessarily do – that young children don’t catch or spread [COVID-19] as often as adults do, the teachers are still wary of spending so much time indoors with that many other people,” he said.
“We’re seeing mandates change for businesses all around us, and we’re not seeing that change for schools, and that’s frustrating.”
The B.C. Teacher’s Federation has called on the province to reduce the number of students per class to 15 in the Fraser Health region, and has appealed to the parents in the province to talk to their kids about wearing masks in class.
While masks are not mandatory at all times in #bced schools, we’re hoping parents can help teachers create a culture of mask wearing. We need to be doing all we can to ensure we keep each other safe. By talking to your children about wearing masks you can make a big difference. pic.twitter.com/7alZ5Yme0F
— BCTF (@bctf) November 21, 2020
Takasaki said he hopes their voices are heard soon.
“I think our local teachers have done a pretty good job within the rules we’ve had in place, but the frustration remains,” he said.
“It doesn’t seem like enough is being done to look after the teacher, and that makes them feel more anxious going into school each day.”