Fort Mill School District: DO NOT OPEN SCHOOLS 5 DAYS A WEEK

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The Fort Mill School District’s decision to reopen schools on a 5 days per week basis after spending the year on an A/B day schedule is blatantly irresponsible and dangerous. It is unacceptable to send students back in person every day with the knowledge that the school is massively overcrowded, has poorly spaced classrooms that cannot maintain social distancing, and has both students and teachers routinely with masks down and/or off. Fully reopening is dangerous to students, but even more to the hundreds of high risk parents, grandparents, and high risk students, and it is unfair to prioritize full classroom learning over student and parent health and lives.

The district maintains the standpoint that spread of the Covid-19 virus has declined substantially, and that community spread is not happening. That is categorically untrue. The Fort Mill School District has over 150 students in quarantine, and over 50 positive cases of Covid-19. That alone should be enough to dissuade decision makers from endangering students doubly as much, but it is not. As for community spread, York County has over 2,000 active cases of Covid-19, with just under 200 new cases a day. Though these numbers are less than they were 3 months ago, it is absolutely not a safe number to send kids back to schools in. Only 13% of the country is vaccinated, and vaccinating teachers does not stop the spread between students and their families. Though vaccinations will be enough to allow us to reopen schools eventually, and hopefully by the end of the semester, that time is not now. With over 500,000 dead from Covid-19 in America, and over 50 a day in South Carolina, we must reconsider opening schools fully. 

With the danger the pandemic poses and the lack of safety able to be provided by a school of over 1,500 students soon to be returning 5 days a week, we cannot risk more people than necessary getting complications or worse from this virus. So many of us have lost loved ones to Covid-19, and with only 13% of the country vaccinated, no statistically significant decline in cases or increase in safety procedures, and thousands of people dying everyday because of this pandemic, it is absolutely unfair to send students back 5 days a week. The lack of regard for student safety is appalling. Please continue with the A/B schedule to save lives and protect families.