Ontario March Break in limbo, leaving teachers, parents concerned

Farah Khan
·4-min read
Toronto, ON- February 1  - . Morse Street Public School. Schools remain closed in Toronto.  Ontario faces stricter restrictions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto. February 1, 2021.            (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Morse Street Public School. Schools remain closed in Toronto. Ontario faces stricter restrictions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto. February 1, 2021. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

The Ontario government is considering cancelling March Break for students across Ontario.

The Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation will be given, then the decision will be announced next week.

“My decision point is going to be made exclusively on medical advice,” said Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce. “If they believe that cancelling the break to disincentive travel is in the best interest of public health, I'm going to follow that advice full stop.”

Lecce added that safety, mental health, and well-being are the top considerations.

"I assure you we're not going to put families at risk in Ontario, we're not going to permit any action that could compound the transmission of COVID or these new variants that create risks for our families," said Lecce.

The news comes a day after the government announced the reopening of schools across Ontario, and parents and teachers are concerned.

“I feel like what we are seeing time and time again, is both how inept this government is at dealing with the crisis that we are in, and their complete disdain for teachers, parents, and children,” said Kim Fry, a TDSB teacher who is teaching virtually.

“They just don’t understand what they are doing.”

Fry added that the lack of funding for a safe opening in September, reduction in class sizes, tracing, and proper ventilation systems have all contributed to the reason why Ontario is at this stage.

“Then to cancel March Break, to try and take the attention away from all of their missteps, and all of their errors of judgement is to me not so surprising given the complete lack of capacity or commitment to actually protecting people in Ontario from this deadly virus that we are seeing,” said Fry.

Many people took to Twitter to share their frustration with the education minister and the Ontario government.

Fry said parents, students, and teachers are burnt out and need a break.

“Things should not be business as usual,” added Fry. “Teachers have never worked harder in their lives than right now. Bricks and mortar or virtual—never.”