An online petition created on change.org by an “anonymous parent” seeking 1,000 signatures to keep schools closed and allow online classes to remain as an option received 750 supporting signatures as of yesterday, February 10th.
The petition asks that online classes remain open as options for “parents who do not think it is the right time for their child to return to school yet”. Furthermore, the petition said that it should “allow the parents to make the best decisions for their child’s health”.
The petition also said that the number of new COVID cases in Palau is still “alarmingly high” and it may not be the best time to re-open schools.
One parent commented on the online survey saying she is not taking any chances with her children’s lives–“School can wait.”
“I’m signing to protect my children,” said another petitioner.
“We have my parents who are over 85 years old living with us…I also believe that we can continue the homeschooling until the infection is under 10 people per day for at least a week,” expressed another parent.
Responding to the concerns, Minister Jenkins said that most of the students are vaccinated, and “vaccination is the best way to be safe from Omicron.”
“Science is telling us that it is time to open and recent research on booster shots shows very high effectiveness,” added Minister Jenkins.
For those concerned because they have elderly family members at home, Minister urged that elderly members get their booster shots in order to avoid severe illness caused by COVID.
The “anonymous parent” that created the online petition said, “I disagree with the Minister’s opinion that ‘the schools will be the safest place for children to be during this covid outbreak’.” (By: L.N. Reklai)