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  • Lisa Palanca

To Go or not to GO


EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! TODAY'S NEWS!

· Texas parents can choose whether or not to send their child to school next year, TEA says

· San Francisco public schools unlikely to fully reopen in August: ‘It’s an impossible task’

· Teachers are 'scared' about returning to school under TEA guidelines, union leader says

· California parents weigh risks, benefits of sending kids back to school

· Is it safe to send kids back to school?

· School reopening plans are now part of COVID-19 politics. Teachers fear for their safety.

These are today’s headlines.

After all that the coronavirus has dealt out, now we must take into account whether or not to have our children attend face-to-face school this fall. This is a far more important decision than social distancing. This is even more important than the wear a mask argument.

The Federal Government( Betsy DeVos, Education Secretary and the President) are telling you that yes, it will be face-to-face, and schools must open or lose federal funding.

As our organization works behind the scenes to support teachers, we are asking three questions:

1. How have you changed to make you more successful as a teacher since this pandemic began?

2. What are your immediate anxieties?

3. What can you share with our audience that might help them in preparation to teach in a few short days or weeks?

I am going to be honest about the fact that I don’t like the idea of moving forward without data. We might be able to look at other countries for their successes. I would even go as far as to model ourselves after the successful ones.

But, unfortunately, we are not other countries. We have arguments about the simple wearing of a mask. We talk about our rights to wear masks or to social distance. We aren't like other countries. They follow health rules. We aren't even allowed in many of them right now.

So, as we face higher and higher case numbers as the virus not only persists, but grows, our medical experts are saying that this is bad. The Secretary of Education even suggested that these contrary opinions are politically motivated. Our President disagrees with his top medical advisors.

I don’t know about you, but I do not want to use children in our schools as political pawns. I don’t want to test theories.

I want safe children and teachers and school staff.

For most of our leaders, trying to put kids on buses, interact with other kids, keep a mask on, and use hand sanitizer will be the first major test. Children will not have special classes or outdoor recess. They will remain in their classrooms all day long.

Is it safe to send our children back to school?

I am not the scientist nor epidemiologist but I don't want to speed things along just because people are tired of it or feel that we need to feed the economy.

The smartest thing we can do is: Follow the data and the science.

Let's test the water before we see if our kids will sink or swim.


Thanks for listening

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