Teachers at Scarborough school refuse to work after COVID-19 outbreak

·1 min read

Teachers and some other staff members at a Scarborough public school refused to work Monday after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared inside the school last week.

On Friday, it was revealed that nine staff members and two students tested positive for the virus at Glamorgan Junior Public School, located near Birchmount Road and Highway 401. Fifty-eight students were asked to self-isolate as a precaution by Toronto Public Health.

An outbreak was declared in one wing of the building, but the rest of the school remains open.

On Monday, 186 students were in the building, but there were no teachers.

Classrooms were staffed instead by the school's principal, several area vice-principals, and staff from the YMCA.

"All the kids are in their own cohort in their own classrooms," Shari Schwartz-Maltz, a spokesperson with the TDSB, told CBC Toronto.

Schwartz-Maltz said that the school was given the all-clear to reopen last week.

"Toronto Public Health has said this school is safe. The Ministry of Labour was here last week, they said the school was safe," she said.

But teachers and some staff members feel differently.

Don MacMillan, who speaks for the Toronto Education Workers Local 4400, said closing just one wing of the school wasn't enough.

"The ventilation system serves the whole school, there's concerns it may be in the ventilation system," he said.

Representatives from the Ministry of Labour were at the school Monday to discuss next steps, something McMillan says he's open to.

"We're all looking for common ground here, so we can get staff back in schools," he said.