Students and Allies Against Reopening Massachusetts Schools Due to COVID-19

Students and Allies Against Reopening Massachusetts Schools Due to COVID-19

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Elizabeth Miller started this petition to Governor Baker (Governor of Massachusetts) and

The COVID-19 Pandemic began to infect Massachusetts as early as February, 2020. In early March the cases began to increase. In Mid-March schools were closed, and as phased reopenings began happening across not only the nation, but the world, the plan for how students will operate in the coming school year as well as the safety of school is called into question. The fact is, it's not safe enough to send students back to school. 

On March 14, 2020 Governor Baker closed Massachusetts schools for three weeks. This was later extended, and remote learning continued for the rest of the year. On March 14, there were 15 new cases in Massachusetts, 137 active cases, 138 total cases, 1 recovery, and 0 deaths. Yesterday, July 27, 2020, there were 289 new cases, 10,938 active cases, 115,926 total cases, 96,452 recovered, and 8,536 total deaths. (1)

"Rt [R naught] is the average number of people who become infected by an infectious person. If it’s above 1.0, COVID-19 will spread quickly. If it’s below 1.0, infections will slow." (2) On March 14, 2020, the Rt for Massachusetts was 2.01. On March 24, the day Governor Baker closed non-essential businesses, the Rt was 1.26. After that decision, it took seven days for the Rate of Infection (Rt) to drop below one, implicating the effectiveness of quarantining in lowering the rate of infection. On June 8, 2020 Phase two of reopening in Massachusetts began. The Rt was 0.87. It took ten days for Massachusetts to rise to an Rt of 1. Now, we currently have an Rt of 1.08. (2) The numbers show that, while improved, it is still not safe due to the rise in cases associated with reopening, which will only be exacerbated by the opening of schools. 

Rather than endangering both students and teachers for a year of schooling that will be difficult, regardless of what model is chosen for reentry, the continuation of remote learning will allow for the safety of both students, teachers, and their families at home.

Leaders should focus on creating evidence-based and data-driven solutions to ensure a safe remote learning system that benefits all students.

Including:

  • Providing access to resources for children with special needs and learning disabilities, including in-person instruction. 
  • Assuring all students have access to internet and the technology needed to complete their assignments.
  • Providing childcare to children of families in need.
  • Supporting students, teachers, and families while they adapt to new learning norms.

We miss school. We miss seeing our friends, and our favorite teachers. We miss clubs and sports and we want to go back to school. It's just not safe.

Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito have done a great job flattening the initial curve and providing resources to hospitals and other front line workers, as well as setting a good example for the rest of the country in their efforts to diminish the spread of the virus. It's still just not safe enough to reopen schools. 

Remote learning is not the same experience as classroom learning; however, the loss of a life, a teacher's life, a student's life, a grandparent's or parent's life, is too great a consequence when there is no evidence it is safer to send children back to school.

 

Source (1) Case Numbers Info

Source (2) Rt Info

 

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0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!