Put the safety of our children over the economy.
Put the safety of our children over the economy.
There is no doubt that the world has been turned over onto its head as the Covid19 pandemic rages on. People have spent months in quarantine and have been working to diligently protect their families and loved ones from this illness.
Unfortunately, these efforts have taken a side-line in an effort to re-start the economy, even if our economies were prematurely opened. Due to this, many states, including the state of Utah are now seeing a frightening increase in Covid19 cases as the new school year inches closer, our government officials have failed to mandate mask-wearing and are still on course to push schools into opening fully in August, despite the increased risk of infection.
On June 30th, 2020, the Canyons School District held a Facebook Live meeting, where they detailed their re-opening plans: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3053748461328078 which included a full re-opening with minimal steps to protect students, teachers, and parents during the increased risk of Covid19 and cited non-scientific sources for their decisions.
Their decisions would see that Teachers and Staff wear masks, however, they will not be requiring mask-usage for children, claiming that children do not spread the disease, which has been proven false by the World Health Organization who recommends that all ages wear masks to help stem the spread of Covid19: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters?gclid=CjwKCAjwrvv3BRAJEiwAhwOdM6DTA3aA1EvCxO0DTd5ysKDGQUG4n396pwOvzUG8hZNQt_ulub-zUhoCIDEQAvD_BwE#older-people
During this live session, a teacher called in, advising that there was at least one case of a student testing positive for Covid19 during summer school, luckily, the students and teachers were already moving toward a break. However, this concerned call wasn't met with any sympathy during the live session and very little care was given for their staff.
They pressed forward in their session and advised that they would be re-opening with full classes, including full bussing, where the children would not be required to wear masks, putting teachers, bus drivers, children, and parents at risk.
Noted plans from Canyons School District which are similar to other Utah and out of state districts:
1. Require mask usage for teachers and staff.
2. Mask usage for students is optional but encouraged.
3. Teachers and students will clean the classrooms between each class, giving teachers and students no time between classes.
4. Teachers would be required to send any students who present symptoms to the office. They had no plans on how to handle an outbreak in the school and had no plans on how to effectively ensure that children aren't belittled or embarrassed if sent to the office.
5. Suggested a safe area for kids who do wear masks to take off masks (where other children had been, which may expose them to Covid19 droplets).
6. Will provide online schooling, but, will outsource teachers instead of utilizing their at-risk staff. Children would be required to maintain online schooling throughout the grading period, even if a vaccine is made and the Covid19 situation improves, punishing children whose families feel it is safer to participate in online schooling.
Using outsourced teachers also means that the children will not know any of their teachers, especially in the case of children transitioning between Elementary, Middle School, and High Schools.
7. Will provide teachers 2 masks each, meaning they have to launder the masks multiple times a week, leading to longevity issues.
8. Leaving doors cracked open to help stem the spread: this does nothing to help the spread of Covid19 when children are sitting less than 3' apart from one another and can pose a risk in the instance of emergencies that require lockdowns.
9. They expect parents and teachers to not allow anyone who is ill to come into the schools. Parents often send their children to school while sick, using the school as make-shift daycare, and teachers are often encouraged to come into school anyway while sick, especially since substitutes are hard to come by.
10. Will take temperatures of visitors and staff, but, not students.
11. They will remove buffet-style lunch lines in schools, lunch staff will be required to wear masks and gloves, children will not be required to do so.
This is a truncated version of their 'business as usual' model of schooling that is not suited to the current social situation that we are in. Their decisions show a willful disregard for the life, safety, and health of their staff, students, and visitors.
While offering online schooling is a wonderful thing that helps to keep children safe, there are children and families who will be left between a rock and a hard spot if the schools proceed with re-opening with this model instead of offering an online-only course while offering technology to underprivileged students, with their current model, these students whose families cannot afford internet connection or computers will be left with only one option, to put their families at risk by sending their children to school, which isn't fair.
I ask that you please join me in asking our state and national governments to consider the risks of re-opening schools this fall, especially without adjustments to help mitigate the risks of spreading Covid19 as our government officials balk at rolling us back to levels that are more reflective of our current numbers.
As a high-risk parent, I cannot allow my child to be put in a position where they have to worry about bringing Covid19 home to me, potentially killing me. No child, husband, wife, partner, teacher, or staff deserve to live with these decisions or worries.
It is time to roll us back to online schooling until it is safe to reopen, and allow your teachers, staff, and students to participate in a full online curriculum that isn't watered down by the districts.
We should reopen, only when it is deemed truly safe by medical professionals and virologists, and then, we need to reopen slowly, with a much more rigorous protocol to safety than what is being proposed now.