Friday, December 11, 2020

All Schools Must Open

Public and Private pre-schools and primary and secondary schools must all open.  I was called a "teacher hater" by someone on Linked In for making that simple statement.  Of course, as a former public school teacher years ago, I am anything but a teacher hater.  I actually believe that great teachers should receive merit pay and bonuses that the teacher unions will not allow.  The fact is that 65% of American families are dual income.  Parents and others are paying property and other taxes to pay for public schools.  Unless school districts would like to refund some of that money so parents can make other arrangements, teachers must report for work in the classroom.  

Schools can take necessary precautions following CDC guidelines related to wearing masks, hand sanitizers, general antiseptic cleaning and social distancing.  All students and adults can have temperature checks before entering schools.  Further in the event of a Covid case, specific employees and or impacted students can go back to on line learning to quarantine for 14 days to make sure that they don't have Covid.  These are exactly the procedures being implemented by many private schools and it is working just fine.  

Many big city teacher unions will have none of it.  They want teachers paid regular salary for what is essentially less effective teaching with on line learning.  Poor minority inner city kids are most negatively impacted by on line learning.  Many have no one in the home to assist them so they are simply not attending.  And or working parents are struggling to juggle their demanding jobs while teaching their children at home.   Remember, they are paying various taxes for the education of their children.  

The next thing I heard from people on Linked In is that teachers are "special" and that older teachers would be too much at risk to go back to work.  Of course, many teachers are special; but are they more special than health care workers caring for Covid patients, or the Cops and Firemen who save lives everyday, the care givers working in nursing homes or senior communities, or the people that produce and sell us our food.  I don't think so.  The fact is that if particular teachers have serious illnesses that would place them at more risk, they should get medical approval to go on Disability until they can get a vaccine that protects them.  This certainly seems like a reasonable solution.   And, it could be applicable to other essential workers, as well. 

Look, the facts are that very few kids seem to get Covid.  There is some thinking that the vaccinations they get for measles, mumps etc. are providing some level of immunity.  And, most people who do get Covid either have no symptoms, mild symptoms or flu like symptoms.  A small percentage get really sick and end up in the hospital and an even smaller percentage die.  While any death for any reason other than natural old age is tragic, it is not a reason to shut down our schools.  Teachers who can, need to get back to work at school with children in front of them.  We need All Schools Open for the good of society.  

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