GW Graham. A student from the school has created a petition, asking the district to create better online learning options so students can stay safely at home. (SD33.bc.ca)

GW Graham. A student from the school has created a petition, asking the district to create better online learning options so students can stay safely at home. (SD33.bc.ca)

Chilliwack student petitioning for creation of better online learning in wake of COVID-19

‘I myself do not feel safe walking into a school packed with 1,500 students,’ petition writer states

A student at a Chilliwack high school has started a petition for better online learning options.

The petition was created on Nov. 1, as the rumours of local cases of students with COVID-19 spread via social media. The petition, called Online Alternative For Chilliwack Schools, is on Change.org and addressed to the Chilliwack School board superintendent. Its creator is simply listed at GWG Student.

“Currently schools in Chilliwack, British Columbia are dealing with a Covid-19 outbreak with multiple cases in our high schools,” the petitioner writes. “We as students are required to go to these high schools for our education with no online alternative.”

It lists other schools that are doing online coursework, including UBC, UFV and Mount Cheam Christian School. The private school closed for a week in October when multiple cases showed up at the school and staffing couldn’t be provided.

“In the current state of the world, I myself do not feel safe walking into a school packed with 1,500 students,” the petitioner writes. “These students have families who have friends and jobs, so really it’s just a matter of time before we have a major outbreak and the schools close anyway. We need to allow students to go online before students or their families are harmed by this pandemic.”

The petition also brings up a topic often talked about in the community. While schools break up students into units and cohorts, those are erased once the bell rings and students are out in the community.

READ MORE: Chilliwack’s GW Graham secondary pauses athletic activities due to COVID

“This petition aims to eliminate the risk while still getting an education and allows students to put their health and well-being of their family before their academics,” it concludes.

The petition has more than 500 signatures now, and several comments of support.

“Being at school during a pandemic makes me feel uncomfortable and unsafe,” wrote Isabel Martinello. “Some teachers aren’t taking enough precautions in preventing the spread of the virus. I would feel much better if I was in my own home, and able to complete work at my own pace.”

Chilliwack schools are operating on an octet system this year, with one class at a time for about 22 school days. The highly condensed format makes missing a day or two difficult, some parents and students have said. They are currently in the second octet of the year.

There are currently 12 Chilliwack area schools that have sent letters out to families warning of a COVID-19 case in the school. The exposure dates range from Oct. 26 to Nov. 4. The surge in local cases have caused many youth organizations, from Chilliwack Giants Football to Chilliwack School of Performing Arts, to halt programs until the scope of cases is better known.

READ MORE: List of Chilliwack youth groups closing due to COVID-19 growing quickly


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Chilliwack School DistrictCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

It’s the Valley Huskers (left) and the Regina Riot (right) in the final of Football Canada’s online logo contest.
Valley Huskers face Regina Riot in final of Football Canada logo contest

Vote in the online poll to see the scarecrow named the best amateur football logo in the country

A ambulance drives past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
9 Lower Mainland hospitals to postpone non-urgent surgeries as hospitalizations surge

Record number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across B.C.

(File)
Two injured in rollover crash on Seabird Island

One treated for serious, non-life threatening injuries

Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
UPDATED: Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

Judge finds that Gabriel Klein is criminally responsible for death of Letisha Reimer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Epilepsy-defence driver found not guilty in crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Firefighters carry equipment from the scene of Monday’s Willoughby fire. The April 19, 2021 blaze turned the Alexander Square development at the corner of 208th Street and 80th Avenue to rubble. (Rob Wilton/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley Fire: The aftermath of the inferno

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. Carlos Monteith, the man charged in the Clayton shooting, was sentenced April 22 on charges related to a different shooting in New West in November, 2019. (File photo)
Man gets 6.5 years in prison for shooting as he awaits trial for separate Cloverdale slaying

Carlos Nathaniel Monteith sentenced for possessing a prohibited weapon and discharging a firearm with intent

Most Read