EXCLUSIVE: Nearly 40 per cent of Ontario parents won't send kids back to school

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An exclusive NEWSTALK1010 poll has narrowed down some of parents' biggest health concerns when it comes to back to school, as nearly 40 per cent of parents say their children won't be in the classroom in September.

The public opinion poll conducted by Maru/BLUE finds that most Ontario parents who aren't planning on sending their kids back feel it's not safe to go to school. Nearly three quarters of those parents are concerned about the children contracting COVID-19 and bringing the virus home with them to infect others.

Almost 70 per cent of those parents feel there hasn't been enough modifications made to schools to ensure children's safety.

The Maru/BLUE poll finds that more than 60 per cent of parents who aren't sending their children back feel that class sizes are too big, their kids won't be able to physically distance with peers, and they don't trust that other children will follow the rules and make it safe for attending.

These concerns are heightened with parents of elementary-aged children.

According to Maru/BLUE — if 40 per cent of parents in the province were to keep their children home in September, that would reduce a regular class size of 25 students down to 16.

On the flip side, the major reasons more than 60 per cent of parents want to send their children back includie concerns about remote learning, emotional damage, and the need to play with and socialize with their friends.