The push to reopen schools is definitely on.
It comes from Trump. It comes from DeVos. It comes from Berger. It comes from many others who have crafted the policies schools have had to endure for the past few years.
One of the many disconcerting aspects over reopening schools is that in most cases plans seem to be a bad lesson plan at least.
There seems to be no real talk from officials about what happens when there is an actual outbreak in a school, and before someone argues that students are not susceptible to the effects of the coronavirus, there are a few glaring things to consider.
First, it is hard to name a place that consistently brings together hundreds of people on a daily basis from all walks of life. Play a game of “Six Degrees of Separation” where the criteria is just coming into contact with someone, then I would probably start at the local public school. Your grandmother lives with you and you come in contact with a student who is carrying the virus but is asymptomatic. That’s all it takes.
Secondly, we haven’t really been in school since the pandemic was declared – at least in most places. We really haven’t tested the whole “schools reopening” concept on a very large basis. In truth, we don’t really know how well these “plans” will work. That means there needs to be a lot of planning.
Furthermore, are we really sure that we have seen all that this virus can do? More and more young people are getting diagnosed, and since it is very hard to get tested if you don’t have symptoms, that means that more young people are showing symptoms. And you can’t talk about death rates as the best barameter for all of this.
Then there are teachers. What happens if a teacher gets the virus while working at school during the reopening?
Consider this from today’s Winston-Salem Journal that covers my home school system.
Think of the amount of time for quarantine and recovery. Will there be a tax on personal leave? Sick leave? What happens with the students?
What happens if a child of a teacher contracts the virus and tests positive?
These are valid questions that teachers and other school personnel have, but they cannot be answered because at the root of public schools is the concept that the public school system will only be funded to a perceived level that only considers an ideal situation will happen.
And the people who are doing the funding and policy making are mostly people who have no idea about the day to day operations of a public school.
They think they know what it entails and how much it should cost. Now we are in unchartered territory.