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What if Back to School isn’t the best option for kids?

Last Updated Aug 24, 2020 at 6:53 am EDT

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, left, and Education Minister Stephen Lecce walk the hallway before making an announcement regarding the governments plan for a safe reopening of schools in the fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic at Father Leo J Austin Catholic Secondary School in Whitby, Ont., on Thursday, July 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

In today’s Big Story podcast, there are lots of reasons schools should open in the fall. From parents’ sanity and productivity to the fact that without the childcare schools provide, working parents are basically screwed and economic recovery is impossible. But there’s another assumption that we make when discussing sending kids back in September: That going back will be the best thing for their mental health. What if that assumption’s wrong?
School can be a source of anxiety and stress for kids at the best of times, never mind how it feels when it comes with fear of contracting Covid-19 and bringing it home to make a parent or grandparent sick. Classroom learning doesn’t work for some kids, even without teachers in masks and socially distanced. Maybe we should have a more nuanced conversation about what school in a pandemic could look like, instead of assuming it’s either in-person or a boring, glitchy Zoom call.

GUEST: Dr. Tyler Black, suicidologist and emergency psychiatrist in B.C.

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