Parents slam school COVID ruling
While tens of thousands of fans are permitted at high-profile sporting matches, Queensland parents have hit out the guidelines preventing some from entering school grounds, saying it is at odds with the state's long period of zero new locally-acquired cases .
It follows revelations that preppies could not be accompanied by parents into the classroom on the first day of school next year with parents at two schools - Thornlands State School and Wellers Hill State School - told COVID-19 health advice would rule out parents entering the classroom.
Parents on The Courier-Mail's social media and website expressed outrage and sadness about the guidelines - with some dubbing the situation "ridiculous".
In a Courier-Mail's Facebook poll a staggering 5600 Queenslanders believe parents should be able to accompany preppies into school on their first day next year, while 655 believe they shouldn't.
The current Education Department operating guidelines for schools recommends staff, parents and other adult visitors to practise physical distancing and minimise the interaction between students and adults, and may restrict adult access to school grounds.
One social media user called for schools to develop COVID-safe plans for parents to sign in, similar to the method used by restaurants.
"Those children need that support on day one to reassure them. Schools can be COVID safe if they make the plans, it is not rocket science," the comment said.
"Those schools obviously couldn't be bothered. Too hard basket," another social media user commented.
Many other parents called out the hypocrisy of people being allowed to attend sporting events but not able to enter the classroom.
"It's ridiculous, sure send tens of thousands of people to two football grand finals on one weekend but don't walk onto school property," a commenter said.
"That's awful, surely schools can work out some kind of plan to stagger class start times or something so that the preppies can get settled in. That's so rough," another social media user commented.
Queensland today recorded one new case of COVID-19 - a person who acquired the virus overseas and is currently in hotel quarantine.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles yesterday said it had been 56 days since the last locally acquired COVID-19 case in Queensland.
"This is ridiculous. When is the last time an active case was declared in QLD? or an outbreak?" a social media commenter on The Courier-Mail's Facebook page said.
"Why do our children pay a price that not everyone in the community is forced to pay? No graduations; first day drop offs; no covid?! Surely it's achievable if it's achievable to have 10s of thousands at football games? No?" another commenter said.
When asked when the health advice and operating guidelines to schools, particularly around parent access, would next be reviewed and updated the Education Department did not provide a deadline.
"The Department regularly reviews the operating guidelines for schools, in line with Queensland Health COVID -19 advice and the Government's Roadmap to easing Queensland's restrictions," a spokeswoman said.
A Queensland Health spokeswoman yesterday said principals and schools were able to set their rules.
"It is months away from Term 1 2021 starting and we'll update the community if health advice changes between now and then," she said.
Originally published as Parents slam school COVID ruling