An online petition is being shared in the Comox Valley asking SD71 to close all schools indefinitely. 

It was created by a group called Comox Valley Students.

The students explain the reason behind the petition is that they “feel unsafe going to school.”

“The lack of action taken to prevent an increase of cases within SD71 has highlighted their apathy towards protecting the health of their student body. Students report a lack of enforcement in terms of provincial health regulations within both Elementary and high schools alike. This is unacceptable,” reads the petition description.

It adds that “the lack of action taken to prevent an increase of cases within SD71 has highlighted their apathy towards protecting the health of their student body.”

So far the petition has garnered over 500 signatures.

In response, the Comox Valley School District told our newsroom that they are aware of the petition and the views expressed in it.

“We are hoping to address these concerns with an upcoming Town Hall we are hosting with Island Health this Thursday, March 4th at 7:00 pm via Zoom.”

 “This is a public meeting to allow members of our school communities to listen to a presentation from Dr. Sandra Allison and Dr. Charmaine Enns. They will give an update on the virus in our community and its impact on education. There will be opportunities to ask questions.”

In a letter to parents last week, the SD71 said while some students may feel unsafe or uncomfortable, “all those who have tested positive did not contract the virus within schools.”

The district also says its well-defined, strict Health and Safety processes have worked efficiently to keep students and staff safe and healthy throughout this pandemic.

That’s something echoed by North Island Medical Health Officer Dr. Charmaine Enns, who we spoke with last week.

She explained that COVID-19 cases in schools are actually a reflection of cases happening in our community, and public school systems are doing a “fantastic job” managing during these times. 

To view the petition for yourself, click here