Even though the Back to School article was about area colleges, there also seems to be a lot of controversy with regards to whether or not schools should re-open this fall, and if so, in what capacity. Many teachers are justifiably concerned about the risks. But my question is, what is their solution?
What are working parents of students supposed to do, enroll their children in child care centers where the risks to staff and families are equally as great? The children have to be SOMEWHERE, and the classroom setting is best suited to their educational needs. Public school teachers would be facing a risk to a degree no greater than those faced by early childhood educators. And the child care solution entirely overlooks middle school kids, many of whom should not be left to their own devices to tackle distance learning while their parents are at work.
Nobody should have to worry about being at risk from COVID. But teachers have the most crucial job in our society, no matter the level at which they are teaching. They are ALL — including public school teachers — essential workers. If early childhood educators can provide quality care and education in the face of the pandemic, surely our public school system should be able to do the same. School districts shouldn’t expect others to do a job that they themselves are reluctant to do.
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