100 signatures reached
To: Dan Tehan, Minister for Education & State Premiers
Fair Go For Students
Dear Minister & State Premiers
COVID-19: A Fair go For Students
Let’s #loveourfuture…The fall-out from COVID-19 is hurting Australians far and wide – no-one’s immune. Yet the experiences of our future, our kids, “the COVID lockdown generation” have been forgotten and ignored. Politicians and the media have focused on COVID-19’s impact on their grandparents and great grandparents (health) and their parents (employment and the economy). And yes, rightly so. But not kids. Why? COVID has shown that Australians have deep love and respect our older family members - we want them to be COVIDsafe and healthy (of course we do) – however, we also want our kids to be kids in a COVIDsafe responsible and reasonable way and to address the COVID impact for them.
Our kids are our future. Yet they are experiencing escalated isolation, mental health and well-being issues like never before. The World Economic Forum recently found that 15 to 24-year-olds worry most about the pandemic’s effect on their mental health. Kids are not immune from the far-reaching impacts of COVID. Their COVID story will have lasting impacts as our world recovers from COVID over the forward decades, of which they will be in the driver’s seat.
Draconian government measures in Australia that do not give our kids a fair go must be addressed now.
It’s time to crawl out from under the “politically correct” doona, Australia, let’s positively debate this and seek workable solutions to issues that are ripping apart the future fabric and heart of our democratic nation. The restrictions placed on our kids are more onerous than almost every other nation in the world – we cannot cancel the lives of Australian kids forever. Our kids will be left behind the rest of the world…Australia will be left behind.
C’mon Australia, let’s give our kids, the #covidgen #afairgo. Let’s #loveourfuture
Join other parents of Australia in protecting our kids. We need simple and practical solutions. Sign our wish list now! And if you can think of more issues, please add them in the chat sections and on your socials!
All students and particularly senior Year 12 students are under pressure and struggling, their year has been "ripped" out from under them and these students have NOTHING to look forward to and finishing school. Online learning has been extremely challenging and sadly for some kids non-existent, you NEVER get this year back. Students should also be able to graduate with their parents on the school’s grounds. Thousands of students are finding this year so challenging. WHY are governments putting so much pressure on them? Simply saying kids are resilient is not good enough. Adults are struggling right now, so c’mon if we’re finding it a heavy lift, how do we think kids feel? Our school students spend everyday together. Students are now playing sport together! Community sport as well!
Why can't they play music at school? Why can't they sing in choirs? Why can’t they play real sports matches (the “pros” are!) School isn’t just about academia! For some kids school is about everything but. It’s a wholistic experience. For some kids music and sport is their thing. And for kids, hanging out with their mates is what they live for in all sorts of settings.
The restrictive policies impacting #covidgen do not make sense.
Why are governments being so hard on schools, students and parents? Minister and State Premiers may have a lot more issues with the COVID/lockdown generation than perhaps they realise and it could also lead to a very serious mental pandemic.
On another matter, day and boarding school students who have to travel across borders (regional and international) to go to school daily, weekly and each term are being denied their basic human right to see their families. Parents live in these locations because of their jobs, jobs which everyone is trying to hold onto right now. This is a critical situation. These children are minors and the requests currently being made by the state and federal governments are unsatisfactory. Families are being split apart. Families are in tears, parents beside themselves not being able to see their children for 6 months and relying on people they don't even know that well (not good for any child's mental health).
Why is this important?
Our COVID Wish List for Kids:
Simple and practical solutions are needed.
1. Mandate Masks. As we learn to live with COVID governments could try to firstly mandate masks across the whole population e.g. when outside and when you can’t socially distance, like other countries in our region, and see the impact that has before cancelling anything to do with kids and school. Other countries are doing that and it’s working. Kids in other countries are living life in a fairly usual way, going to events, hosting sports, visiting family etc. Simple. #wearamask
2. Border closures. For ALL the families who have children attending schools (day and boarding school) who have to cross a border (eg. live in NSW go to school in VIC) each day, weekly or at the end of term (boarders) for their school holidays Government must find workable solves so they can see their families and not be locked up for the duration. This also includes Australians who live overseas for work (expatriates) and whose children are educated in Australia. These families seek an urgent solution. They cannot manage (afford) quarantine, nor up to a month of quarantine every time they wish to see their kids. Many are coming back from countries where the virus/community transmission is more under control than Australia. Like other nations there could be a safe list of nations for whom either Stay at Home quarantine notices are issued for 7 days (see the Singapore example for Australians), or where COVID tests are given and cleared for countries with very limited/zero cases. Also, putting an unaccompanied minor into a hotel to quarantine is unreasonable. The wellbeing of the child is not being considered and families should NOT be separated. If they must should quarantine at home. Parents need to see their children and children need to be able to attend their schools. Green lane travel bubbles for such families, across domestic and international borders, as are currently happening in other nations in our region and in Europe must be considered and implemented as matter of urgency with holidays just weeks away. #loveourfuture
3. Class of 2020. PLEASE support all our Year 12's (the “COVID Class of 2020”). This year is to their "rite of passage". Governments have made unreasonable decisions - no graduation with parents, no formals, cancelled sports, cancelled assemblies, the list goes on and on and this is on top of students struggling from isolation, pressures of whether exams will go ahead etc., disappointments and increase in the numbers of suicides, depression and anxiety. So many are devastated by these decisions. Governments have taken steps to ensure adults can attend restaurants, pubs, sporting matches etc and the same opportunities should be afforded to our kids. It’s up to governments to find solutions that allow Australian kids to have rights too. #COVIDclassof2020
4. General School Events for all kids: If governments won’t be satisfied with #wearamask for school events then for example before any event at the school each parent could have a COVID test 2 days prior the event. If negative they can attend wearing a mask and social distance. If positive they watch it from their lounge room.
For parents and kids wishing to attend such events please introduce a solution e.g. every parent has to have a COVID test prior to the event. School Formals - the same applies as above. Each student is tested and if negative attends wearing a mask! These children should be able to have a school formal.
These are just some ideas to get the debate started. Right now, like most other nations globally, we need to learn to live with COVID and give our kids the best future possible –they are the future of Australia. We cannot leave them behind…