Lacombe Safe September protesters chalked the walk outside MLA Orr’s office

Darrin Thompson’s 8-year-old daughter will go to school this fall despite concerns.. Photo by Jessica Nelson/Lacombe Express
About 15 people attended the Safe September protest in Lacombe on Aug. 21. Photo by Jessica Nelson/Lacombe Express
The colourful messages addressed concerns about re-entry plans, funding and large class sizes. Photo by Jessica Nelson/Lacombe Express
Photo by Jessica Nelson/Lacombe Express
Photo by Jessica Nelson/Lacombe Express

Protesters chalked their concerns outside of MLA Orr’s office in support of teachers and EAs Friday.

The sidewalk chalk protest was initiated by a grassroots group called Safe September. Safe September is advocating for just that, a safe September for everyone involved in back-to-school.

Myles Chykerda, who helped organize the Lacombe chapter of the province-wide event, said the protest is about concerns the UCP isn’t listening too. He says they aren’t properly prepared for schools to relaunch.

“They’ve had five months to plan for relaunch and teachers are getting two masks and a bottle of hand sanitizer, essentially,” said Chykerda.

Chykerda said there were around 30 protests happening in various ridings across the province.

“Today is definitely about supporting our teachers and EAs for a safe relaunch,” he said.

Darrin Thompson, a protester, is hesitant about sending his child back to school. He is concerned the government isn’t doing enough.

“We are hoping that the government will actually listen to the experts and delay the opening, or do something that will make it safer,” said Thompson. “But we are doing the best we can.”

Earlier this week, Minister of Education Adrianna LeGrange met with the Alberta Teachers Association to discuss school re-entry. One of their requests was to delay the start date of school.

In an emailed statement LeGrange said school boards have the ability to delay or stagger start dates based on their local best interest. She also said after reviewing planned re-entry dates, she sees, “that time is clearly available to allow teachers to prepare for re-entry before their students arrive.”

“These plans and timelines were created by school boards who continue to follow the expert medical advice of Alberts’s chief medical officer of health,” said LeGrange.

The Wolf Creek School Division states, in their school re-entry plan, that start dates will be staggered to allow students to become familiarized with new protocols.

The Board has also sent out the results from a survey about parent’s prefered education options. Of the 3,594 responses; 78.6 per cent would prefer in-person learning, 5.9 per cent prefer virtual, 1.7 per cent will be homeschooling, and 14.7 per cent are undecided.

For parents who choose in-person learning, the provincial back-to-school rules, state students from Grades 4-12 will be required to wear a face mask. Masks will be optional for the younger grades.

Schools will be providing two masks for each student. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entry and exit points of each school and students are required to use it. Each individual class will be considered a cohort under this plan.

Altogether about f15 people showed up for the protest in Lacombe.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 cases in Alberta up by 153 Wednesday

Central zone sits at 19 active cases

160 new COVID-19 cases reported in Alberta on Tuesday

Province now has 1,571 active cases

Return to class has gone better than expectation, WCPS says

Staff with Wolf Creek Public Schools say the return to in-class teaching has gone very well

PHOTOS: Eighth annual Wood Show in Lacombe

Central Alberta Wood Workers and Woodturners Guild hosted its annual show recently

No safe mask option for bearded members, RCMP says, but force is exploring solutions

RCMP says respirator not mandatory in all front-line situations, but sometimes needed to reduce risk

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Albertans the speediest behind wheel, according to national dangerous driving survey

Finder.com looks into dangerous and reckless driving habits across the country

Metis pilot Teara Fraser profiled in new DC Comics graphic novel of women heroes

The Canadian pilot’s entry is titled: ‘Teara Fraser: Helping Others Soar’

Leduc Man still missing, RCMP concerned for his well being

31-year-old Ryan Mcleod has been missing since Sept. 10, 2020.

Sylvan Lake family says they are ‘blessed’ to have found their home in Central Alberta

Onsy and Rosemary Tawadrous immigrated to Canada in 2011 and made their home in Sylvan Lake

Tractor fire east of Ponoka doused

Flames extinguished with foam additive

Wetaskiwin restaurant asks City for help with excessive property damage caused by continuous loiterers

Employees say that they are scared for themselves and their customers.

Most Read