VANCOUVER -- About 800 parents across B.C. are planning to keep their children home from school on Tuesday, says the organizer of a protest aimed at the province's handling of COVID-19 in schools.

Tammy Loehndorf of Prince George says she decided to take action after hearing from parents and teachers that they were unhappy with the current regulations around COVID-19 at schools.

“The idea of a safe school plan, in theory was one thing, but the reality wasn’t adding up,” Loehndorf said. “We actually have the power to pull our kids from that environment, to make a statement and to make parents feel connected with each other.”

This week, Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry was asked about transmission in schools, saying “the risk in the school settings is still quite low and it is a reflection of what's happening in our community.”

On Friday, four more Surrey schools reported new cases: Hyland Elementary, W.E. Kinvig Elementary, Panorama Ridge Secondary and Enver Creek Secondary.

Loehndorf posted a call to action on both Twitter and Facebook, asking parents to keep their children home from school on Oct. 20, saying “empty seats should speak.” 

The parents are calling for greater transparency from health officials when a transmission occurs in schools, as well as mandated mask use and improved ventilation at schools. They also want a more uniform and easily accessible remote learning model.

The event says “Our children and teachers aren't expendable, or a science experiment.”

As of Friday night, Loehndorf says around 800 families were planning to participate. “Between Vernon, Kelowna, Quesnel and Prince George, we’re looking at comfortably about 320 and the rest is in the lower mainland.”