Say No To Unsafe Schooling!

Say No To Unsafe Schooling!

On an ordinary day would you send your children to school if you thought they might be in danger?

Of course not!

I don’t actually think I know any mother who would say ‘Hmmm, a good chance they won’t be safe… Ok? Well, let’s give it a whirl shall we?!’ Because we are, by nature, the protectors of those we love and to do that would be the antithesis! We would see our children’s safety over the detriment of EVERYTHING else yet the government are saying that potentially starting on June the 1st they would like all to be back in school before the summer holidays.

We do not have PPE for children and teachers. 16 year olds will find social distancing hard let alone the little ones. Teachers are expected to shepherd them as if their behaviour and reactions will be probable. There are no plans for testing and tracing. We do not know that children won’t become ill. We do not know that bubbles will work. We do not know that there will be enough staff!

We DO know that there will have to be staggered entries, different children in the same family starting and finishing separately, we know that children will probably be without some of their friends, maybe with none of them and that the teacher they are given may not be their own. We do know this will be frightening, even more so than the situation is for them now and we do know that this plan could have been put on hold until at least after the summer so that we coule buy some time to get proper plans in place.

Yes the ecomomy HAS to start running again but not at the disadvantage of my children or my family. There will be a second spike as a result and I for one believe the government don’t give a damn about that, in fact, I think they want it! So I urge you, keep them home where they are safe for as long as you can, I know it’s hard. But it could get a whole lot harder!

It IS depressing for a lot of people – this time of home school can be soul destroying, I know that from experience this past 8 weeks when it has NOT been a walk in the park. The thought of it being over is inviting and I can only imagine more so if you are having to do this as a solo parent. I love my children being at home with me ordinarily and if I’m honest then deciding to keep them that way probably doesn’t daunt me as it does some – I’ve never been the mum wishing the school holidays away but I DO understand that for a lot of people it isn’t the same and that if I’m finding it hard some of my friends will be desperate right now. However, to send them back when we have no idea if this is the right thing to do and I for one would take all the home schooling life you could throw at me over the alternative.

I’d accept the daily tantrums and tears from my eldest son who is reluctant, resistant and uninterested on a good day. He deserves a teacher who knows what she’s doing, can be calm, not shout and who knows how to tap into his brilliant mind! It’s not me!

I would also take not being able to help my incredibly bright daughter who for the most part (thankfully) takes care of her own on line learning but occasionally does need help and I have absolutely NO IDEA what to offer her. Her work, the English and Maths… Oh all of it actually, it clearly surpassed my own knowledge bank quite some time ago and as I frantically Google (or call my own very capable Mother to help) I feel useless and I KNOW that she is being massively let down. By me and by the fecking virus!

And it’s not just that either; not just my school age children who are missing out as I mess up this home school malarkey. I have a 2 year old who demands (and deserves) the majority of my attention which without question would be his and solely his from 9-3 every single day were this a normal moment in time.

Ordinarily he and I have fun together just like I did when my big two were his age – he doesn’t go to nursery yet because I don’t want to give him, or my time with him, up to someone else. I ADORE our playgroup Gymboree, swimming, farm, beach and zoo days. I love doing my work around his nap (something which is forever given up now I fear as he will not sleep while the big two are at home to play with) and the rest of the hours are focused on him! I am ANGRY and upset that we are missing out on this time together, and angry and upset that all three are getting the arse end of me with my best at the end of its tether – it does NOT FEEL FAIR!

But…

Despite the absolutely diabolical school work which we all shout and cry over and the shambolic fact the baby watches Ben and Holly more than I talk to him for a goodly portion of the day, despite all of that and even if it was worse, even if we didn’t have any nice moments at all, which I have to say honestly is not true for us, we are fine and enjoying the rest of the time together and it must seem easy for me to say, I would still not want them to go to school right now!

I have one saving grace in that none of my children are in the age categories chosen to potentially start back on the 1st of June and there will be an initial guinea pig trial before I have to make a decision – those guinea pigs being 4 and 5 year old babies belonging to other mothers. I mean, just, awful!

What IS Boris thinking?

He gave his mumbling, bumbling speech like he didn’t know what he was talking about, like he had no idea, like he was plucking options from thin air but he’s no dummy… He might play the buffoon when hiding in fridges but believe you me, you don’t get to be in his position by being a idiot. He knows exactly what he’s doing and always has.

We were late to the party in the initial days not because we didn’t understand or miss memos from Europe. No. I believe that he wanted to prove the political point of standing on our own two feet (shitting in our own back yard as it turns out) and he may or may not have believed that herd immunity could be gained safely. But really, in the beginning he knew he could buy some resources and time if a few old folk popped their clogs early doors and then we could get on with a staggered process of gaining this immunity which they banged on about so much while they sent elderly hospital patients, freeing up beds, back into their care homes without testing and sometimes with, knowingly positive patients returning to infect others.

It was, always has been and still is, about money.

At the expense of our loved ones.

At the expense of our elderly and our vulnerable who we (he) were absolutely willing to throw to the wall for the greater good.

Greater financial good…

And now… After some lip service to the merits of the NHS. Not felt or meant in any heartfelt way I feel, I believe he is at it again. Another round, throw some more of the shielded to the sharks and see if a few of them survive but still not bothered enough about those who don’t. We are ready now, we have the beds, the NHS have proved we have the resources. Staff in and out of retirement prepared to risk their lives. Foreign medics as well as our own home grown, again prepared to risk their own lives to save others who don’t HAVE to be ill if we deal with this better and care a little less about the pockets of the already wealthy.

And as for the teachers… Well, has anyone even consodered them? They have been working since the beginning to look after and teach our key worker’s and vulnerable children and to support home learning for everyone else. They have been working harder and more dangerously than ever before with little thanks, certainly no claps or presents or supermarket slots or gifts… And now we want them in more danger with very little regard.

They are frightened too. And as well they should be!

When the children do start flocking back into school, what a headache for each and every head teacher in the country to work this one out, the teachers will be in even more danger to themselves and their own families than they were when they were “only looking after the staff of the keyworkers” – These children aged 4 and 5, don’t know how to distance and will potentially have no symptoms but will infect others. They will fall over and need a hug and the teacher has to do what? Offer no human contact for comfort?! Who, with a human heart will understand that? And all the while they could have been home safe with their families who are being supported in their finances for a little bit longer by a govenrment who DOES care and wants to get this right!

Could have…

This spike will be bigger and bolder and take more and my husband will likely be one of those caring teachers going in to hug and look after these tiny babies when they fall, when they need a hand, when they miss their mummy because it’s all a bit frightening really. And he will do it because he’s decent but he doesn’t want to. Who would?!

It looks like Boris will make it impossible for some of us to make the right decision that we want to make, some of us will now be between a rock and a hard place because sure, they can choose not to work (according to page one thousand and whatever of the dossier) but they won’t get paid, there’s no provision for that. This is our government monumentally mucking up for their own gain in my opinion. We need a socialist approach, a human approach, a plan that looks after us now and doesn’t gamble with our futures.

But do we have a choice to change it?! YES! If enough people say the same thing and stand up to be counted, say no way, not me, not we, not mine! Then there’s a chance this abysmal tack will have to be abandoned and directed in a different and more planned direction.

So say no for now.

SAY NO!

SAY NOT ME!

SAY NOT MY CHILD!

FORCE THEIR HAND!

Don’t make small children be the guinea pigs – don’t suck it and see if the government plan is actually sound or if, as I fear, this latest proposal is flawed beyond hope. Don’t gamble with your children or yourselves or your Granny, or Grandpa or next door neighbour but one…

Say: WE WON’T SEND THEM BACK UNTIL WE KNOW IT’S SAFE – like we would about anything else when it comes to our children.

People do have power together. And if we overrule this by saying NO as a united nation of parents, the ones who love being with their kids in the holidays, the ones who don’t and… For the vast majority of us whoever we are, those of us who HATE HOME SCHOOLING under these circumstances. If we can all say NO and stick it a bit longer I really think we have a better chance of making the school return safer later on – don’t send them into the lions den just yet.

I plead!

My three, they are not worth a gamble with and they will not be guinea pigs so they stay with me until we have more certain answers. End. Of!

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