Home schooling

How lengthy will you proceed this dramatic administration of quarantines in faculties?

A testimony from Laurence Bruyère, mother of L. (14), C. (11), O. (9) and F. (5).

Tired… yes, I’m tired.

Durability, sensitivity: two words that constantly come to the mouths of ministers or press experts. And yet, there was consistency, sensitivity, a lot. A lot even. But today, these two words should also be able to be used – nay, enforced by the competent authorities. As a reminder: “Resilience: an individual’s ability to build and live satisfactorily despite traumatic circumstances” (Le Petit Larousse, ed. 2021)

19 months that we cheat with the two weeks of our four children. Our family life is no longer one. Like any disruption encountered in life, we made the necessary efforts, respected the established quarantines, studied at home, did the tests, avoided meeting people … we did not celebrate our children’s birthdays with their friends, we avoided traveling when asked .

Our eldest son (age 14) left school in March 2021 – after becoming completely apathetic and antisocial with this hybrid education imposed by the authorities. Contrary to vaccination, we nevertheless did it, clinging to this idea: experts and authorities told us that once we reached the 70% vaccination rate, life would resume its course. We do not think about our lives, but about our children – the adults of tomorrow, those who will work because they are trained, those who will pay taxes to support the weight of society, who will endure, who will care. for us. Our teenager requested the vaccination himself and he received his two doses: against our advice to us parents. We let him do it for his psychological well-being.

But why do we touch our children? They do not develop a severe case of the disease. Can’t we just let them live their lives and make their antibodies naturally? I am certainly not an expert in epidemiology, but I read what the experts say in the press. Belgium has now reached a vaccination rate of 86% (18+), and more than 10% of the population has had Covid: so we should not be far from total population coverage! Not later than this Friday, October 15, 2021, Mr. S. Van Gucht profiled the patients in intensive care – I quote “these have an average age of 60 years and are not vaccinated. […] the virus also circulates among young people, especially those under 12 years of age. This is not surprising, since this is the category of the population that has not been vaccinated. But generally, their symptoms are mild. There are rarely complications. They represent only a small part of the people who are hospitalized.” So yes, there are exceptions – but isn’t there an exception for everything, all diseases? Why quarantine all classes for Covid, not the flu? Or angina? Or…

I won’t dwell on the countless number of quarantines we had to observe as a big family during the last school year. I prefer to forget it. But I am challenged by this beginning of the school year. Here is our personal situation, which is certainly far from isolated:

September 16, our 5 year old daughter needs to be tested. She is positive for Covid – big surprise: she has no symptoms – NONE. His three older brothers were immediately placed in quarantine. We tested them and we open the champagne bottle when we get the results. Yes, you read that right: we’re opening the champagne bottle! Two of them, those under 12, are positive (and have already been in 2020) – without any symptoms. We will carry, we will teach them at home (I need 7 hours a day for 4 children – in addition to my freelance work). There is a light at the end of the tunnel (another hope that will soon collapse): they will have the recovery certificate, valid for 6 months. Finally we will have peace and we can think about something other than possible quarantines for ½ year. Our eldest, meanwhile negative, continues his quarantine – locked in his room, again completely apathetic, again refusing to eat or speak. He doesn’t understand anymore… No matter how much we try to motivate him, you tell him it’s the last time: next time he will be fully vaccinated and the maximum quarantine he can have will be 24 hours (well, until maybe the rules change again, because we daren’t promise him anything anymore) – nothing works. But classes continue, I have to contact the school to get the material covered in class – most teachers tell me that he needs to be adjusted with his classmates … and that he will have to pass the missed quiz in the evening , the week of his recovery. We carry, carry… but it will be the last time.

Here is the reason:

October 17 we learn that our third primary class is in quarantine. No school until October 26th. However, he has a certificate of recovery – he should be able to go. Out of the 9 weeks of lessons, he will have only been at school for 6 weeks – yet in perfect health.

Aberrant situation

My turn to ask you: what good is this “safe recovery ticket from covid” if quarantine is imposed anyway ? Who will look after my child? What will he do with his days?…irony: we will be sent chores to do on these white days. Yes, ladies and gentlemen experts, ministers: these are indeed white days. I’m not a teacher, I’m not a teacher. I am a mother and I lost this role due to the quarantine. There is no more family life. We have to keep working (living and paying taxes), now we have to homeschool (without paying).

Absurd situations, there have been countless throughout this health crisis, but let me think that this one currently borders on the absurd.

In the mail received from the various managements of our children’s schools, we can read this message from the PSE center, I quote:

“As you know, since the beginning of the pandemic, PSE services have ensured the tracking and monitoring of Covid cases in schools.

Since October 2020, we have had several meetings and communications with Mrs. Linard, Minister of Health, to inform him about the difficulties we are facing.

As of May 2021, we have insisted that we are no longer responsible for tracking and monitoring COVID. We were not heard according to our request and worsethe current situation is even more complex than last year.

Today, our requirement is to be able to carry out our basic missions, namely health checks, sensory examinations, vaccinations and health promotion.

These missions have been undermined for many months and it is urgent that we can resume them calmly… the children’s health is at risk!

Currently, for the vast majority of services, this work is impossible to do.

Also, we inform you that after the filing on October 4 of a strike notice that takes effect on October 18 and the minister’s unsatisfactory response, we have taken the decision to stop all management of Covid situations in schools. “.

Fully supporting PSE’s decision, let me turn to my part: today, my request is to be able to fulfill my role as a mother, that is: moments of pampering, moments of discovery, family laughter,… and support at school (support and not teaching) when needed. To be able to educate them again with the values ​​that seem important to me and not leave them in front of the TV for days to do my work. All this has been damaged for many months and now it is urgent that I can resume a normal life… my children’s mental health, mine too, is at risk.

Also, please let me know that as of today I am making the decision to discontinue homeschooling my children in perfect health, with all the implications this may have on their lives and the additional work this may generate with the teaching staff if desired. all parents should come. to make the same decision. Let’s be clear: I am absolutely not questioning the teachers, perhaps they too are exhausted and overwhelmed by what is being asked of them. I’m talking to the federal level about the quarantines still currently in place in schools.

Education has been damaged a lot during this entire period, it is time to rethink its organization and not burden parents.

Children, I am more than convinced today, need “normal” social contacts to develop. They are in a period of learning and exploration: this can only be done in a healthy and peaceful way in contact with other human beings and not only with their parents. Learning through contact with diversity is necessary, especially in the world we live in and the one we are preparing for.

How long will you continue this dramatic management of quarantines in schools? How long will you continue to promise us a partial resumption of our liberties and above all how to get our children to understand the meaning of the word “freedom”, which you seem to be putting off month after month, if not every week to week. ? What event must happen for you to understand that today more than ever our children and their parents suffer from your decisions?

As an ordinary citizen, respecting the rules set by our authorities, I hope for a serious reaction to this carte blanche from those who are our elected officials and who govern us.

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