Letters to the Editor: April 23 – 29, 2020
Closing F.C. Schools Saved Children’s Lives
I read with disappointment Ms. Ellen Gross’s letter to you in the April 9 issue, in which she expressed disappointment that Superintendent Noonan had closed schools early. Instead of “missing the point of education,” as Ms. Gross suggests, Dr. Noonan’s decision embodies it: Our mission is to serve children, in all capacities, to our fullest possible ability. To keep them in close proximity and promulgate vectors of potential transmission of the disease would have been unethical and irresponsible. Falls Church and Arlington made a joint call to close at the right time, before things got worse quickly, which they have. We educators love and are dedicated to our students, and not only believe in their capacity to adapt and thrive in a variety of circumstances, but we also believe in ensuring their health and safety, bar none. Ms. Gross’s sentiments prioritize the institution of the school over the welfare of children, even if she does not realize it. In the face of the globally-tragic scale of this pandemic, we teachers are secure in the knowledge that this interruption in familiar learning will be made up for in the future. Accommodations will be made and conditions for each child to thrive reestablished, and each of those children has a better chance of remaining healthy and safe and alive because we did our part… and continue to do so, every day, to this very day.
What students need right now is far less the “structure” that Ms. Gross believes teachers provide, and far more the understanding, pedagogical expertise, and love that we career professional educators put far above sitting student posteriors in specific chairs.
Closing the schools when we did was nothing less than doing our part to save children’s lives. Ms. Gross may do her part in supporting those children by being supporting of the professional educators who serve them.
Keith David Reeves
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