Teacher "petrified" of schools reopening: "Even if one child dies, it could be mine"

15 May 2020, 18:46

By Fiona Jones

Rachel Johnson takes on this teacher and parent who does not want schools to reopen on 1 June.

Teacher union leaders said there are still "unanswered questions" about the safety of pupils returning to school, despite meeting with chief scientific advisers today to discuss the reopening in a fortnight.

The caller John said his wife is ready for his children to go back to school but even though the number of child deaths are very low, it has still left John panicked.

"I'm petrified walking round the shops", he said, so does not want to sit in a room with 15 children.

His daughter is reception at so one of the groups meant to be returning.

Rachel countered, "Don't you think it's important that your daughter gets education? It's been assessed as a key point in education and otherwise she could be out of school from March to September."

John agreed it is vitally important, but it is still hard knowing how important it is compared to the risk of infection.

"They might say it'll only affect a very very small amount of children in a bad way...but the idea that it might be my one. It doesn't matter how many it is, if it's my one it's a massive deal to me," he said.

Rachel countered that it is statistically extremely unlikely to badly affect John's child, and asked whether this tiny risk might change his mind.

Torn, he said, "There's no right answer. I know for a fact my little one needs to go in."

His partner wants their daughter to go in to keep up her essential learning of words, spelling and sentence structure, which he said parents will struggle to teach in the same way.

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