Petition: Protect Vulnerable Public School Students from the Threat of COVID

  • Posted on: 18 August 2021
  • By: Dane County TimeBank

You can sign the petition HERE

 

To: Madison Metropolitan School District

From: Dane County Timebank

Twenty-seven thousand students are being asked to negotiate 250 virtual seats as the new school’s imminent opening approaches. At the end of the previous year 750 had expressed a preference for virtual learning. As the Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to cause widespread spikes in COVID cases with disproportionate impact on Black, Brown and poor communities, is this a number we can afford? Whose lives matter?

Under-vaccination continues to be a predominant reality in these vulnerable communities. Are Black, Brown and poor communities being offered every opportunity to be vaccinated through the summer? Can the two weeks prior to opening the doors see the establishment of vaccination options outside every school? In the weeks approaching the opening of the school doors are adequate testing and vaccination sites being equipped with the materials and personnel they need to correct the disparities?

We need the provision of virtual seats to reflect the actual demands and needs of those underrepresented in vaccinated numbers. We need mobile units in our communities ensuring that everyone who would like to be vaccinated can get this safeguard easily.

We need to offer support to families as they navigate this very difficult time of transition whether their children will be virtual or in person in school buildings.

We also ask that, if necessary, the district considers delaying the opening of the school year until adequate vaccination can be provided to families that have yet to be vaccinated and when all students who need to can be accommodated with a virtual option.

We cannot afford to become complacent with whatever the school district sets out as a course of action until every effort has been made to close the gap in vaccination rates and we can guarantee choices for families as they decide when, where and how their children will learn.

We need Black community leaders, community organizations and all allies and co-conspirators to support this effort to raise awareness about the need for choices and to make sure we can provide alternative spaces for our young people to be. This is because community needs to prepare to harbor safe places which provide alternative to COVID threatened buildings where there is poor ventilation, where we are entering the cold months and have little choice about opening windows, where the ability to maintain 6 feet separation does not exist and where the least vaccinate demographic -- youth -- will be forced to risk bringing the delta and other variants back home to their families.

In consideration of these concerns, I am signing the petition below in support of the needs outlined here and ask all concerned decision makers to hear and meet the requests outlined above.

 

You can sign the petition herehttps://actionnetwork.org/petitions/protect-vulnerable-public-school-students-from-the-threat-of-covid