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Charlotte, NC — On Thursday, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said K-12 schools should actually remain open.
His chief reason is that schools are some of the “safest places” for kids to be. And as a former teacher, I couldn’t agree more. Their absences have severe negative impacts on their learning, progression, and social and academic development.
In fact, he asserted, efforts to shut them down are nothing but an “emotional response.”
Here’s how Redfield explained his expert analysis: “Today, there’s extensive data that we have—we’ve gathered over the last two to three months—that confirm that K-12 schools can operate with face-to-face learning and they can do it safely and they can do it responsibly. The infections that we’ve identified in schools when they’ve been evaluated were not acquired in schools. They were actually acquired in the community and in the household.”
CDC Director Robert Redfield pointing out the obvious that triggers teachers unions, which is “[t]ere is extensive data” that “confirm[s]…K-12 schools can operate with face-to-face learning and they can do it safely and they can do it responsibly.” pic.twitter.com/o4nMS81Axp
And check this out — the biggest problem isn’t anything to do with publicly shared space: “Today, as Dr. Birx said, our big threat for transmission is not the public square, it’s small family gatherings, family gatherings where people become more comfortable, they remove their face-mask when they get together and it’s this silent epidemic that begins to transmit.”
“[I]t’s not interschool transmission. The truth is, for kids K-12, one of the safest places they can be, from our perspective, is to remain in school, and it’s really important that following the data, making sure we don’t make emotional decisions about what to close and what not to close, and I’m here to say clearly the data strongly supports that K-12 schools—as well as institutes of higher learning—really are not where we’re having our challenges.”
It’s a good thing to hear — in my opinion, school kids being quarantined is terrible for their emotional health. Kids’ mental and physical development requires socialization. Kids are made to be running around, hanging out, socializing, and trying to look cool.
That’s also, from what I’ve observed, what adults want to do, too.
But keeping kids in cages — even if it’s their own house — can’t be good for ’em.
Dr. Rob put a point on it: “[I]t would be counterproductive from my point of view, from a public health point of view, just in containing the epidemic, if there was an emotional response, to say, ‘Let’s close the schools.’”
Please keep it comin’, doctor.
Meanwhile, “an emotional response” seems to be suiting many folks just fine.
Rather than fighting the Wuhan Flu with feelings, I hope we find a different way — back to the way things used to be.
The thing we used to call life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Remember? That thing we called America. And in America, kids go to school! Kids need to go to school!
Of course, these days, much of that time may be spent learning the evils of the U.S.
But one step at a time — maybe let’s get everybody back if it’s safe, then we can figure out what in the heck kids are being taught while they’re there.
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