Petition to cancel San Francisco classes garners more than 14,000 signatures

As wildfires rage north of San Francisco, dozens of school districts in the North Bay have been closed for days. Now, an online petition with thousands of signatures is calling for San Francisco Unified School District to do the same.

"San Francisco has been the dumping ground of ash and smoke since the North Bay fires started," the petition reads. "Many students commute to school by walking or public transportation, this means they are exposed to the air for a long period of time."

RELATED: List of school closed due to the North Bay fires

Those who signed the petition echoed those sentiments.

"I see ashes in the air every so often. How is this even deemed safe?" wrote one petitioner.

The school district said in a statement that their decision to keep schools open was "made with the input of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the San Francisco Department of Public Health." They are aware of the petition. In response SFUSD offered the following notes:

  • Cancelling school can put a tremendous burden on families who would need to make additional arrangements for childcare.

  • Families who are concerned about their child's health can elect to keep their child home. We have alerted schools that for parents who keep their child at home it is an excused absence.

  • Staff members having any difficulties can alert their supervisor and stay home if they choose.

  • For a large number of our students, school buildings may be better ventilated than their homes.

The air quality in Coast and Central Bay will be unhealthy for Friday and Saturday, according to ABC7 meteorologist Drew Tuma.

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