Don’t force students to physically attend school on May 16 in New Jersey.
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Update 05/04/2020 12:00pm EST: They heard us, and many others who were suggesting Mr. Murphy to decide quickly and decided in the favor of keeping the schools closed for the rest of the year for safety: https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/coronavirus/new-jersey-schools-phil-murphy/2384072/ Update-Ends
Update 05/01/2020 10:50pm EST: At this point, it seems that Mr. Murphy still wants to keep it secret !! Click here for nj.com news Update-Ends
Update 05/01/2020 12:15pm EST: Mr. Cuomo confirmed that NY schools will remain close for rest of the year: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/tale-of-two-states-ny-daily-deaths-hit-new-low-nj-sets-pandemic-high-as-warm-weekend-looms/2397916/ Update-Ends
Update 04/28/2020 11:35am EST: Mr. Murphy says “there is a chance” NJ schools could reopen this academic year: https://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/2020/04/27/coronavirus-nj-gov-murphy-says-there-chance-nj-schools-could-reopen-academic-year/3032343001/ Mr. Trump tells governors to consider opening schools also: https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/28/politics/trump-governors-call/index.html Update-Ends
Update 04/24/2020 5:20pm EST: 43 states have confirmed today to keep schools closed through the school year. NJ is still not confirming anything: https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/18/us/schools-closed-coronavirus/index.html Update-Ends
Update 04/19/2020 3:22pm EST: NJ is not yet confirming what 31 other states already did: https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/04/18/us/schools-closed-coronavirus/index.html Update-Ends
On April 17th, Phil Murphy announced that schools would be closed until at least May 15. He mentioned that he would keep schools closed before this point, and reopen them when health experts advising him deem it safe to return to school. This is all well and good, but many parents, students and teachers would still be uncomfortable with being in school, and if school reopens, it will become mandatory for teachers and students to attend their schools, no matter how uncomfortable they may be with the COVID-19 situation.
Schools, by necessity, have many students and teachers in close proximity to each other, and with every precaution taken, that will still be true, even if it is to a lesser extent. In addition, there are many schools where students and teachers from all over a county will be together, which means that the virus could be brought in from many different towns.
In addition, many students rely on buses or carpools to be able to get to school, and not every bus is perfectly clean, and students in these buses basically have to sit next to each other and move around.
There are clearly many people who have good reasons for wanting to go to school, and their needs should not be denied. However, either it should not be mandatory for students and teachers to physically go to school, or the opening of schools should be delayed until following points are met, with them still having the option to attend school online.
1. There is a vaccine and proven medicine for helping fight off coronavirus.
2. Schools will be regularly disinfected.
3. There is assurance that there will be testing kits for sick teachers and students.
4. There will be a sufficient amount of resources to accommodate people with coronavirus in hospitals without delays.
5. There is assurance that the growth of coronavirus is in check in the range of the school.
Update 04/19/2020 3:22pm EST: Some say “parents can decide not to send students to school even if schools open”. There are consequence (absence, grades etc) if students don’t go to opened school. Students should not be forced to physically go to school until they are comfortable but should be allowed to choose between physical presence or virtual (online) presence. Update-Ends
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