Letters to the Editor: March 4 – 10, 2021
Last Week’s News-Press Poll Felt Like a Swipe at Parents
Your recent question: “Should people pushing for the schools to reopen volunteer to make it happen?” is loaded with implications with which I take issue.
First, it plays on the guilt that all parents have that we are not doing enough for our children. Second, it implies that somehow we are asking our teachers and school employees to do something we ourselves are not willing to do. Finally, it assumes that we are sitting idly by doing nothing while we demand our schools open.
As a parent with three children who has worked throughout this pandemic, I take offense to all of these implications, intentional or not. While working full time, I have used every available moment and resource to help my children stay safe and stimulated throughout this time, including filling in the gaps where online learning failed and finding creative means to meet their emotional and social needs. I, like many others, had no choice and worked full time throughout the pandemic, doing my job despite the risk. I do not think it is reasonable to ask me to “volunteer” to do a job that others are trained and paid to do.
The evidence is accumulating that keeping the schools closed has had a devastating impact on children both educationally and emotionally, and that opening them poses much less risk than previously thought. I hope that our educational professionals have the courage to take an honest and hard look at the impact virtual “learning” has had on our children both to tailor a curriculum to their current needs and allow us to make a more informed decision should further closures be proposed in the future. Virtual “learning” has proved a poor substitute for in person learning.
Our schools need to open full time, and our educational professionals need to do what all of us have done — adapt, figure it out, and do their job.