This news article came out today. Schools open for in person instruction in just one week….oh, and masks are optional. I had the pleasure of being able to participate in a teacher’s union zoom call tonight. They had a panel of doctors who have been trying to help guide the safe opening of schools. What has been recommended is that schools not open to in person learning until the county rate is less than 10 cases per 100,000 people, for 14 consecutive days. Right now, my county is at a four day average of 30 cases per 100,000 people. I feel like I can personally stay safe with my teaching assignment, but I worry for my colleagues and the kids.
I haven’t read all of these books, but I do remember reading a number of them when I was in high school. I was always fascinated by dystopian themed novels. Back then the warnings in these books seemed so unreal. There is a series on Netflix called “Black Mirror”, that continues on with very creative dystopian themes. It is not really a series I can binge, as I get too emotional watching them. I have to take it in small doses.
Enough of the distraction….back to the school issue. Teachers are more than ready to get back to work…safely. Unfortunately, that is not what is happening. Sadly, in this state, people will have to die and outrage the masses…our school systems still probably wouldn’t budge. My wish would be to have COVID-19 in schools be tracked like nursing homes are being tracked, with data made public. Without having the information, it is impossible to exercise this wonderful “choice” that we supposedly have.
Today we discussed my field, special education, and the pandemic. Many of our kids just can’t do social distancing. Many require assistance with mobility, toileting, and feeding. When we talk about opening schools, we must think of ALL students’ safety, not just non-disabled children. The “go to” answer to this is for school board members to tell parents that they can choose to do remote learning. Sadly, those with disabled children look to schools to provide very specialized services to their kids. Many parents need support, and perhaps don’t have extended family or friends who can give support. We owe it to ALL of our kids to open SAFELY! The kids trust us, the adults, to keep them safe. I just don’t see how sending them into buildings with little space for distancing, full classrooms, and no mask requirement during this level of pandemic, is some level of abusive and neglectful. My heart is so sad about what is being done….