The kids are thinking alright.

In late February, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asked that all schools in Japan were be closed until April to stop the coronavirus from spreading. While some students might have rejoiced at the fact that there was no school, it meant kids ended up being stuck inside the house all day. Students missed out on important events like their own graduation (although some figured out a novel way to hold one anyway), but come April, it was hoped that Japanese kids would finally be seeing their classmates again, and Hyogo Prefecture was one of many prefectures to announce that on April 8, everything would be business as usual, and all schools would open once more.

This turned out to be an arguably questionable decision, though, due to the fact Hyogo currently has over 200 cases of coronavirus, with more being announced daily. And while kids battling with cabin fever welcomed the news, it was not a welcome announcement for many.

A petition was created by a student in Hyogo with the aim to close down all public schools in the area. The petition, named “It’s ridiculous to reopen the schools when the virus hasn’t been contained”, was created on April 3 and currently has over 20,000 signatures.

The founder of the campaign is a high school student from Kobe city. He named his Twitter account @kyukokibou (‘Requesting the schools be closed’ in English) and posted his reasons behind the campaign on the page.

“This is my opinion as a student. During the school closure, we saw on social media that there were still some students out and about. Despite the fact that we were asked to stay at home, they were hanging out at shopping malls downtown. If the schools re-open, we’ll have to be with those people, taking classes with them in close proximity. If an infection cluster starts at school, all students will get the blame, regardless of how seriously some of us took the ‘stay at home’ guidelines. Plus, people are still getting infected and are dying all over the world. I think we should keep the schools closed for longer to protect not only ourselves, but our friends and family.

▼ “Tell me again, why are the schools reopening?”

@kyukokibou added that he had sent the petition to the Hyogo Prefectural Board of Education, and the same day, Hyogo Prefecture announced a state of emergency, meaning all schools will remain closed until at least May. And while the campaign originally started in Hyogo, other students around the country have been inspired to start similar petitions for their own prefectures, with students from Aichi, Nagoya, and Kyoto also creating online petitions.

Many Twitter users applauded the high school student for making the petition.

“I agree with the high school student. The virus is already spreading so much. Adults need to protect the children!”
“Oh kids… I’m sorry that adults are really strange.”
“This responsible, conscientious kid is great, but of course there will be kids playing outside during the school closures. The parents should be held responsible.”

A state of emergency was also announced for Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama prefectures, meaning there will be a lot of people stuck at home for the next couple of weeks. Stuck at home, but hopefully staying safe. And for the people staying at home, there are plenty of things you can do to keep busy, such as feasting on this meaty treat.

Source: Twitter/@kyukokibou, via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso
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