In today’s press conference, Kayleigh McEnany said, “The science should not stand in the way of” schools opening this fall. On Fox News Sunday, Betsy DeVos said, “If schools aren’t going to reopen …they shouldn’t get the funds.” We underpay teachers in this country, proving how little we truly value them, and at the same time, we ask them to risk their lives to teach our children. What does that say about us as a nation? In today’s post, Ruth Roberts movingly talks about the school opening decisions we are confronting as a nation from a very personal perspective.

Covid-19 Infections on the Rise in Kids and Teens With School Approaching—Bloomberg

Twitter breach exposes one of tech’s biggest threats: Its own employees—NBC News

Despite Supreme Court ruling, Trump administration rejects new DACA applications—LA Times

July 16, 2020

Opening school is not safe for my child
by Ruth Roberts, the suburbs of Baltimore, MD

In our house, we are paying close attention to the national and local news these days regarding opening schools. Every day there are more guidelines, or another teacher’s union voicing their concerns. The President and Mrs. DeVos talk only about danger for the children, which they have determined is minimal. “Kids don’t get sick most of the time.” “Kids are resilient.” The President even had the audacity to say ,“People are dying because they need to come back, I mean seriously, they are dying because of this.” The media chatter all seems to focus on children. And that’s fair, we need to protect them. But MY child is a teacher. And no one, it seems, except for the union rep, is very concerned about her.

So here’s what I’d like everyone to understand. Because of this country’s obsession with guns, my daughter had to (along with the rest of our family) accept the fact that she was walking into potential danger every single day. That, one day, that newscast might be about her school getting shot up. So, she sucked it up and focused on her students. My daughter would die for her students. I know it. She wouldn’t hesitate. But now, on top of placing her in danger every day from potential gun violence, many people expect us to suck up another danger to her life and take it in stride just so their lives can get back to “normal,” Whatever normal means to them. Well, I am sorry, but you are asking too much. If you want life to return to normal, you know what we are asking of you? WEAR A MASK. WASH YOUR HANDS. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE. That’s it. Just do that and maybe in two months time we could get back to “normal.”

But instead, you moan about masks being hot, or stupid looking, or worst of all, an assault on your freedom. Really? What about my daughter’s freedom to not get COVID-19 from your kid because you won’t wear a mask? Even before the pandemic, our schools have been dangerously underfunded. You expect the schools to be disinfected to hospital standards? Many schools DO NOT EVEN HAVE SOAP IN THE RESTROOMS. Many schools do not have adequate ventilation to cope with a virus. In my daughter’s school last year (and this is a building about 10 years old), the AC did not work for about 2 or 3 months when school reopened. The windows are sealed units, they do not open. So tell me how you ventilate that school? You don’t.

There is no way schools can open until we have made significant progress with controlling the virus. Please urge your school boards and state education departments to open in the fall with remote learning. It is going to take money to do it too, so start hammering on your government to stop cutting education and fund it to the same levels they threw at the corporations and farmers. Your mantra should be: No money, no school. It’s that simple, folks.

6 Comments

  1. I had a brief teaching experience twenty years ago. I walked into a filthy room in September, cleaned it myself and after realizing the custodian did not have time for classrooms bought a vacuum to keep it clean. Teachers are under paid, schools underfunded. There was rarely a nurse or psychologist on campus. If the schools couldn’t afford to even vacuum then how do they expect to keep this horrendous virus at bay? The administration puts money before life. Vote him out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a similar experience as a teacher. I bought my own cleaning supplies and vacuum cleaner and did regular cleaning myself. I don’t know how ANYONE can expect the level of hygiene to be achieved in the schools now. I have not heard any mention of funds allocated for the tasks that need to be done; I’ve only heard of holding funding for schools that don’t open up.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. An amazingly powerful piece. Sometimes you feel that you can’t get any angrier about what this administration is doing and then you just wake up to the next day and the utter stupidity and cruelty just keeps growing. i pray that this nightmare will be over in November. Surely as a country we are better than this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the article and totally support distance learning until this virus is under control. Our kids and their teachers don’t deserve to be used as political pawns in Trump’s game of political chess.

    I have to be honest and say that when it comes to this President and this administration and this current group of Republicans lawmakers, I have given up any hope that we can expect anything but heartless, self aggrandizing, obstinate, cruelty out of this White House. Donald Trump’s only concern is making the economy have the “appearance” of looking good so he has a chance of winning in November. In the process he will do everything he can to discourage us and keep us from speaking out and voting. I so hope that we stick with it and deal him a crushing defeat come November, so crushing that he leaves D.C. with his tail between his legs. Am I angry? Damn right!.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sad-angry and feel paralyzed. There are far more powerful people in this country than me who do not seem to be able to do anything to stop the incessant attack on logic and science and human decency. This piece was a stark reminder of how bleak things are and I’m struggling. I don’t want to hate the morons who won’t wear masks, I want to change them. But it’s actually easier to hate than to change someone. Still I will hold on tight to hope, the alternative only serves to release me from any responsibility. And we are all responsible, even if we aren’t culpable.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks so much to Ruth Roberts for her powerful and honest piece regarding sending teachers (and children) back into unsafe school situations! Many mothers of students, teachers and other school personnel must be up in arms as she is. This needed to be said and Ruth said it so well.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s