When it comes to Covid-19 and reopening schools, we are a nation divided. Opposing ideas float around on social media. Teachers will ultimately be responsible for the safety and well-being of children, but poor leadership has put them and their jobs in jeopardy.
For example, here’s what Education Betsy DeVos recently said.
The pandemic is a good thing because I think it’s going to really force changes that should have happened many years ago, and most of that’s going to happen when families themselves are empowered to make those choices and those changes and those decisions.
Confusion about the virus and about how schooling should be handled run rampant. Opinions about the virus are often at odds.
I take the virus seriously as I have stated before. I see that keeping schools closed poses problems, but reopening schools is risky, and many public schools do not have safety measures in place.
It would help if we worked together as a nation to address the problem of Covid-19. Thus far, leadership has been abysmal.
Here are the messages fighting each other online. Some are facts, others are opinion. Feel free to share the messages you’ve heard about Covid-19 and reopening schools.
- Schools are not safe. Students should learn remotely.
- Send students back to school; it’s more dangerous if they stay home.
- Make sure students wear masks.
- I would not want to wear a mask if I was a kid.
- Teachers who make children wear masks are sheep.
- Forcing us to wear masks is tyranny!
- Masks are disgusting!
- Teachers don’t realize that Covid-19 is a hoax.
- Covid-19 is real, but it is not as bad as they say. It is over-reported.
- Covid-19 is worse than they say. It’s under-reported.
- The coronavirus is like the flu.
- Many children will go hungry due to missed school meals in 2020.
- Children need public schools to get out of bad home situations.
- Public schools are not supposed to function as social service institutions.
- The coronavirus has lasting repercussions, some we don’t yet understand.
- The coronavirus is like diabetes, typhoid, or any other disease.
- Not that many children have died from the coronavirus.
- Children without preexisting problems can die of the multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C).
- Children might get the flu and the coronavirus in the fall.
- Children hardly spread the disease.
- Students spread the disease and teachers might get sick.
- Students with disabilities are not being served and need to be back in school.
- Covid-19 hurts our most vulnerable students, many who have disabilities.
- They’re going to microchip children with the Covid-19 vaccine.
- Bill Gates is behind Covid-19.
- Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates are going to make a lot of money on vaccines.
- You are naïve if you don’t understand how this virus is going to control us.
- If you don’t pay attention to this virus, you will catch it and possibly die.
- V.P. Joe Biden is behind Covid-19 and it will disappear once he’s elected.
- President Trump is using Covid-19 to get himself reelected.
- Get children outside to learn.
- It is impossible to find space for children to learn outside.
- Teachers need to get back to work like (grocery clerks, flight attendants, veterinarians, etc.).
- Schools are different than restaurants, grocery stores, etc.
- Teachers are taking a vacation and aren’t working during this pandemic.
- Teachers are teaching remotely, in-class, and hybrid classes around the clock.
- The unions don’t want teachers to return to school.
- The unions aren’t fighting hard enough for teachers.
- The unions already wanted to end public schools.
- Teachers in public schools don’t do online instruction as well as teachers from online charter schools.
- Teachers should strike.
- Why don’t teachers do their jobs?
- Charters are open, why aren’t public schools open?
- Charters aren’t reopening, why are public schools reopening?
- Private schools are not reopening.
- Private schools are reopening.
- Catholic schools are (are not) reopening.
- Where’s your faith? God will take care of the coronavirus.
- School ventilation is a problem.
- Schools have a tissue paper test to check ventilation.
- Ventilation is critical in art classrooms, science labs, vocational classes, and gymnasiums.
- Every school requires a good ventilation system.
- Open windows to get air into classrooms.
- There are no windows in the classrooms.
- Classrooms have windows but they won’t open.
- Children need to play outside.
- Children must not touch anything outside.
- Other countries did lockdowns better.
- Schools are reopening in other countries.
- Schools reopened in other countries, but kids got sick and they closed.
- Other countries are having an upsurge in cases.
- Students should social distance 6 feet.
- Six feet isn’t far enough to be safe.
- Indoor school is fine but indoor dining is off-limits.
- Schools need more teachers to lower class sizes.
- People have no clue about the DARPA Profusa biosensors and hydrogel nano-tech.
- The University of_________ is reopening with safety measures in place.
- The University of_________ is closing.
- The students partied too much on college campuses, it’s their fault.
- Students are isolated and it is ruining their mental health.
- Students should go home from college.
- Colleges must accommodate students with Covid-19 so they don’t take it home.
- Children are afraid to go to school.
- My child can’t wait to go to school.
- Teachers are begging for Covid-19 safety supplies on Donors Choose.
- FEMA will not pay for Covid-19 cleaning supplies for schools.
- Schools need soap.
- Children are crying while working on their computers.
- My child started school and it was wonderful.
- My child started school and it was awful.
- In our school, teachers must go to one bathroom on the third floor.
- A child will fall behind if they don’t have face-to-face in-school instruction.
- Children can learn well virtually.
- This school practices social distancing and everyone wears masks.
- Students in this picture are packed in the hallway like sardines not wearing masks.
- Learning pods are a great replacement for school.
- Students aren’t safe from Covid-19 in learning pods.
- Learning pods are meant to end public education.
- Only wealthy children will benefit from learning pods.
- Learning pods are segregated.
- Some schools are easier to reopen than other schools.
Bruce Kendall says
Ursula Kelly says
People who don’t work in public schools have no idea how crowded and poorly maintained school buildings are. Districts are using this as an excuse to overload classed so in person will not be small group. Districts will say they are following safety protocols that they cannot afford to implement or enforce. More Teachers have co-morbidities than anyone realizes. Many members of the school communities refuse to practice safety measures at home. If we’re going to open schools we might as well go all out and dispense with the safety theater pretense.
Nancy Bailey says
School buildings are such a serious issue. If you have never worked in an older building, you can’t fully realize how problematic it is without Covid-19, let alone with it. Thank you for sharing, Ursula. Stay safe.
They forgot “Teachers are crying at their computers.”
Nancy Bailey says
So we hear. Thanks, Debbie. Also students are crying. I see pictures of children breaking down in front of the screen. Usually they’re young children.
Roy Turrentine says
One of my own reactions has been interesting to see.. We have been in school for over a month now. I know, that is an early start date, but high stakes testing dictates the start date now.
When the Covid started, my wife and I, along with our daughter, hunkered down. I would go to stores very early or very late. We did not get together with our close friends unless we went for a hike or sat distanced outside. We were positively antiseptic.
Then school started. Suddenly we were exposed to 150 kids a day each. I have developed a sort of carelessness that surprises me a bit. Without kids being made to mask, I readily saw that I was going to catch the disease of not. I became more fatalistic. It sort of reminded me of the year I spent working in city streets on the sewer. It was a risky job, being in the streets all day, and it was the lowest sort of job, stirring about in sewerage. I developed a sort of risky, devil-may-care attitude before I could see that I was doing it. This all seems familiar as I anticipate Tuesday back in the classroom.
My daughter goes to another school. She has been back for better than a month too, and has been virtual for a couple of weeks. It has gone pretty well, but she is working awful hard for less result than she would in class. I feel the same way about the remote students I am teaching.
Nancy Bailey says
Thanks for sharing, Roy. I hope you all do alright and come through feeling good. Very best wishes to you, your wife, and daughter.
Nancy Bailey says
Thanks to Diane, who also mentions our book, Edspeak Doubletalk.
The division on this topic and the masking topic is very dangerous. This deception is rampant and fostered by politics, money, and power. These are dark days.
Nancy Bailey says
Thanks, Jo. I respect your insight so much, that when you say this it resonates loudly. I appreciate your comment. Stay well.
eva szillery says
Parents can help with what the school can not due to pandemic restrictions. After all, the intellectual development of their precious offsprings is at stake. At home, they can read together. There is no more important activity for preparing your child to succeed as an adult than reading aloud together. It stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps kids develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. The reading and listening skills will be combined with visual literacy of various shapes and spatial skills before you notice. The children will show pronounced benefits in math and writing. Try it.
Cathryn Ory says
I have two kids in high school. Our district started remote learning on August 10. The teachers are doing the best they can, but in my opinion, the 2020-2021 year is going to be a waste of time. I think we should have all decided to have the kids take this school year off completely, and learn life skills instead. Then, everyone starts again in fall 2021. Every kids misses a year. By then, hopefully we will have a vaccine and school can resume normally. Kids could have done service projects, learn how to plant seeds for food, etc. Yes, I understand this would be very hard logistically. I don’t know of any country doing this. What do you think?
Nancy Bailey says
Thanks, Cathryn. I see your point and I agree that the argument that children are going to be academically ruined if they miss time in school is overblown. Children are resilient. Students can still get instruction, and those who need extra help should get it remotely, Teachers are trying their best to work with the conditions they find themselves.