As England is about to go into a new lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, the Government has decided to keep schools open. This petition calls on the Government not to impose fines on parents who don’t feel it is safe to send their children to school after the half-term.

First published in November 2020.

Jennifer Dunstan has a chronic illness and says that if she catches the virus no one will take care of her son. She is urging the Government not to fine parents who don’t feel it is safe to send their children to school. Nearly 200,000 people have already signed her petition. Sign it too!

Jennifer explains:

I am a lone parent to an amazing 9 year old son who goes to a special needs school. If I get coronavirus, I’ll have no one to look after him while I’m ill. I’m terrified that the Government is going to try to force us to send our children to school while COVID-19 rates are still high. Parents should not be put in that position.

“I fought for two years to get my son into the Special Educational Needs (SEN) school where he is now. He’s happy there, we’ve finally found the right school for him. Now I’m sick with worry he could lose his place there if I feel that it still isn’t safe for him to go back.

I desperately want my son to go back to school, but I have a chronic illness called ME and we don’t have other people who can look after him if I get sick. So I will only take him to school when the scientists agree that it’s safe. I should not be fined – and my son should not lose his place – just for trying to keep my family safe.

“If the R number of coronavirus is still anywhere near one, if deaths per day are still in triple or double figures, the Government should not be forcing parents to bring their children in.

“Please sign my petition telling the Government that parents should not be forced to send their children to school until the coronavirus numbers are way down and scientists agree it is safe to do so.”

[This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 2 November 2020. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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