Letters to the Editor: Children Hurt Most by Moving Goalposts for School Reopening

Letters to the Editor: February 4 – 10, 2021


Although on Jan. 21 we got an email suggesting we were on track to return to hybrid schooling for K-5, Dr. Noonan pulled the proverbial football away on two days later on Jan. 23: no return to school until Feb. 22.

Dr. Noonan wrote in 2020 that we could not and would not wait for the vaccine — but now that is exactly what we are doing. What about this new, more virulent strain of the virus? Will we be delayed again? He doesn’t say.

But part of what made reading the letter so hard was that Dr. Noonan had the temerity to bold the language stating that we needed to support our staff and teachers, listen to them, and let them feel safe. So wanting kids to return to Mt. Daniel after a year means I don’t support our teachers? What about listening to our parents? Over 90 percent indicated they wanted their child to go to hybrid classes; do those parents not care about the risk incurred by their own children? Do they not care about science? This letter left out any acknowledgment that there is genuine suffering going on in this community, and that the cost of NOT having in-person classes (especially for the youngest kids) is significant, if unmeasured.

St. James school is within Falls Church City schools limits, yet there is no indication that the School Board has communicated with them to see how they are able to hold in-person classes, while we are closed. There is zero acknowledgment that many children have resumed all of their sports and travel activities; our high school has sports too, but no classes.

Teachers matter. Teachers are valuable. But so are children. And we don’t have to pit them against each other to recognize that our children have been hurting, and bearing the brunt of the poor choices adults make. Mt. Daniel parents don’t need a survey — you’ve already gotten one! Parents want their kids in school. And for those that don’t, the virtual option remains available, which is terrific.

It’s time to return to school.

Rosaly Kozbelt

Falls Church

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