Legistrative Council E-Petitions

E-petition Number
Keep schools open during COVID-19 lockdowns
The Petition of certain citizens of the State of Victoria draws to the attention of the Legislative Council that school closures are causing significant harm to children, causing anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. This contributes to lower academic performance and routines are interrupted, causing a flow-on effect to the rest of the family.

International evidence shows that schools are not driving outbreaks, cases or infections and that younger children are less prone to infection and less likely to transmit the virus. Children under the age of 12 are found to be at a lower risk of transmitting COVID-19 and adolescents at only a slightly higher risk.

Countries such as Ireland, Iceland, France and the Netherlands kept schools open during times of restrictions and it was found that outbreaks and waves were managed well and cases declined.

A recent study of infections in Victoria found that it was not likely that school infections were driving the spread of the virus in the wider community.

Approximately 180 teachers were hired by Virtual School Victoria to service the significant increase in enrolments due to lockdowns causing children to be too anxious to return to face-to-face learning.

Outbreaks can be managed more easily and in a targeted way using a traffic light system instead of blanket school closures, if required.
The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Council call on the Government to keep schools open during COVID-19 lockdowns by using mitigation measures such as personal hygiene, cleaning, improved ventilation and physical distancing and implementing a traffic light system, if required.
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