Petition to Delay Reopening Schools in August 2020

Petition to Delay Reopening Schools in August 2020

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Petition to Delay Reopening Schools in August 2020:


We, the undersigned, agree that as of July 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not safe to reopen schools in August 2020 for the staff, students, and the community at large. It is understood that reopening schools is vital to restoring our community to some level of normalcy, and that children are facing real issues including social isolation, educational losses, and mental health concerns. As we have seen from our neighboring states, reopening too quickly has not only cost lives, it has actually contributed to major economic setbacks. We need to creatively approach this pandemic and reject the idea that profits are more important than people.


Whereas the number of cases of infection in New Mexico and the US have increased and are trending upwards, opening the schools would endanger the entire population.  


Whereas the PED and APS have failed to provide a reentry plan that is feasible for the safety of students and staff, many lives will potentially be lost due to inadequate planning and lack of funding.


Whereas maintaining social distancing is impossible in schools, even if there are only half the students there at a time, the spread of the virus is inevitable. 


Whereas PED and APS have failed to fund schools to hire more teachers, nurses, custodians, educational assistants and essential service providers to meet the requirements for reopening, it is not advisable to reopen schools.


Whereas the PED and APS believe that the virus is still so dangerous that they conduct meetings via an online format; nonetheless, they expect employees to return to school in person; this double standard is unacceptable and nonsensical.


Whereas studies suggest that pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission of the virus could account for up to 50% of the spread, a daily temperature check is not a sufficient indicator of actual infection. 


Whereas the nature of many types of classes, in addition to gathering for meals, exposes students and staff to high risk activities during this pandemic because masks are not a viable option, the likelihood of increased respiratory droplets in the environment is still dangerous. 


Therefore be it resolved, that the harm caused by reopening schools outweighs any benefit that may materialize from a return in August. We can best serve our students, at this time, by devoting our energy to full-time online curriculum. The health and safety of our communities is paramount and can only be achieved through distance learning during this health crisis. 

We must practice patience and a willingness to change our system that will certainly endanger more lives while facing an international pandemic.