Video: Dr. Bonnie Henry reassures B.C. teachers and school staff worried about returning to classrooms today

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      There's far from unanimous support for the B.C. government's decision to partially reopen public schools today.

      As of this writing, an online petition to keep schools closed until September is nearing its target of 35,000 signatures.

      "Due to the provincial government forcing teachers back into the schools on June 1st before they are safe to sit in parliament on June 17th, this petition cannot be presented by an MLA for consideration until it's too late," the petition wryly notes.

      The Board of Education School District 92, which is on Nisga'a territory, is keeping its three elementary and one elementary-secondary schools closed.

      Parents have the option of keeping their kids at home under the provincial plan.

      It allows students from kindergarten to Grade 5 to receive direct instruction for up to 50 percent of the school week; those in Grades 6 to 12 can attend school for one day per week.

      Late last week, the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, created a video to reassure educators, administrators, and school support staff.

      In it, she said it's "safe to take the next steps" to open up schools.

      "Health-care workers, construction workers, grocery store clerks, child-care operators, gas station attendants, and everyone else went to work every day to be there for British Columbians," Henry said.

      "Throughout this pandemic, hundreds of you—teachers, educational assistants, support staff, and administrators—were in your schools and classrooms, supporting children of essential workers and those who had a need.

      "Many more have been delivering education online in new and innovative ways, but we also know there are limitations of online learning, particularly for young children."

      Henry added that transmission of the novel coronavirus from children to adults has occurred mostly in household settings, not in schools or playgrounds.

      She also emphasized that this "measured gradual approach to transition more students back into the classroom" will be accompanied by regular cleaning of high-contact sites, including keyboards, and more hand-sanitizing and cleaning stations.

      "I understand some of you are concerned about your own underlying medical conditions, about compromised immune systems, or maybe being older," Henry said. "But please be assured that if any of these apply to you or if you live with somebody with any of these conditions, schools can and are still a safe space with the extra precautions we have in place."

      Here's what's on the mind of some educators who've been posting messages on Twitter.