Parents outraged over school return


Students in NSW are set to return to school on this morning, but thousands of parents have signed a petition demanding a choice. 

An outraged mum from Toongabbie in NSW has started a petition demanding the NSW Education Department give parents a choice on whether they want to send their children to school.

"With so much not known about this virus and its side affects on children, let the parents make an informed decision if they want the kids to to be a guinea pig or not," mother-of-two Ash Parmar said.

"We expect NSW DET to let parents exercise their right, have a choice to decide, to either send their kids to school or to continue in the online classroom. "

Mr Parmar said he would keep his daughters (aged five and eight) at home regardless because he did not believe it was safe yet.

So far, more than 6000 fellow parents have signed the petition.

Department guidelines state all schoolchildren must return on Monday unless they are unwell or have a medical certificate for an ongoing condition, while children with family members in high-risk groups also require a letter from a doctor advising them to stay at home.

"It's a normal school week from next week and they need to be attending, rolls will be marked as normal and unexplained absences will be followed up," Education Minister Sarah Mitchell told reporters last week.

Mr Parmar said he would keep his daughters (aged five and eight) at home regardless because he did not believe it was safe yet.

He told the Sydney Morning Herald, remote learning should be kept in place for families who want it, since schools had already planned for it to continue for most of the term.

A fellow parent commented she doesn't have "faith in the politicians who have made this decision".

"I don't have confidence that the school I work in or the other school I send my children to, will be safe for those who attend. I've seen the 'cleaning' and 'contact tracing' first hand," she continued.

"It's a joke and this decision is driven by politics and greed, not public safety."


Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended the $60 billion overestimate of the JobKeeper scheme. "I welcome the fact that the demand for the program has been less than what Treasury estimated," Mr Morrison said.

"There will be many challenges the economy will face beyond September…but JobKeeper is not the only program that the government has put in place to support Australians around the country."

JobKeeper is legislated to finish in September.

It was revealed earlier this week the JobKeeper program, designed to keep unemployed Australians paid, was only going to cost $70 billion, $60 billion less than the $130 billion estimate.

"Treasury made an estimate of how much this would cost, that estimate was cautious. It overestimated how high the demand would be," Mr Morrison said.

Australia has now recorded more than 7110 cases of COVID-19 with 102 deaths. Cases include 3087 in New South Wales, 1603 in Victoria, 1061 in Queensland, 439 in South Australia, 560 in Western Australia, 226 in Tasmania, 107 in the Australian Capital Territory and 30 in the Northern Territory.