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Should schools reopen before the pandemic abates?


Should schools reopen before the pandemic abates?  

40 members have voted

  1. 1. Should schools reopen before the pandemic abates?

    • Yes
      4
    • No
      36


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Been struggling with this question.  I expect the governor of my state to make an announcement in the near future that schools will not be reopened or reopened only for one or two days a week, and classes will be administered completely online.

 

Obviously the health risks of a full reopening are daunting, but primary schooling done online simply does not have the efficacy (or the social benefits) as primary schooling done in person.  Online learning‘s great for self-motivated adults looking to strengthen their knowledge/skillset—it’s not effective for kids.

 

But even if you put debates about educational pedagogy aside, my biggest worry is that there are simply too many families out there where the parent(s) work full-time at jobs with inflexible hours/work-from-home policies just to make ends meet, and really have no way of adjusting to their kid being home all day—since the daycares are closed.

 

I’m not sure we have the resources to absorb an entire cohort of school-aged kids being home all day.  And I don’t think the government is going to step in and provide people with them.

 

But kids are also some of the most effective carriers of disease and our numbers keep escalating, so...
 

What do you guys think?

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Yes, but parents should have the option to send their kid in for whatever precautionary in-person plan their school has come up with or to keep their kid home for an approved distance learning program.  Some families don't have the resources to keep their kids home and for them there needs to be an in-person option.  For those families that do have the money, care and employment conditions that are conducive to distance learning, they should have the option without risking their child being penalized for not attending live school.

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Nope, all its going to do is spread the virus. Children do not understand social distancing. It is not the schools fault there is a pandemic, and teachers and the like, many aged, shouldn’t be put at risk because parents “can’t keep them at home”. 
 

We choose to have kids, it is our responsibility to look after them. We shouldn’t be forcing educators back to work during a pandemic, as kids are germ factories and spread things faster than any other demographic. 

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24 minutes ago, Slug said:

Yes, but parents should have the option to send their kid in for whatever precautionary in-person plan their school has come up with or to keep their kid home for an approved distance learning program.  Some families don't have the resources to keep their kids home and for them there needs to be an in-person option.  For those families that do have the money, care and employment conditions that are conducive to distance learning, they should have the option without risking their child being penalized for not attending live school.

I know you mean well, but I think you need to reconsider what you just typed, because co-signing some families to illness and death because they ‘don’t have the resources to keep their kids home’ is irrefutably fucked. 

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My province announced in June that schools would be totally re-opened in the fall (no distancing or masks) because we had the pandemic under control...and this past weekend we've seen a HUGE spike in cases. We were reporting 0 to 10 per day, province-wide, and now we're doing 30-40. I realize that is much better than most American states, but it's going to grow, people here are dumb.

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30 minutes ago, Chris- said:

I know you mean well, but I think you need to reconsider what you just typed, because co-signing some families to illness and death because they ‘don’t have the resources to keep their kids home’ is irrefutably fucked

I don't disagree.  I guess that's why I'm saying it should be optional.  Distance learning is preferred and they should get as many kids as possible on a remote program both for their own safety and to keep as few people in the buildings as possible for the kids that don't have a choice.  But for those families that don't have the resources to keep their kids home..I just don't think there is a realistic solution for that.  At least not right now and not by the beginning of the school year.  The folks with two jobs.  The single parent that has to work.  The families in rural areas without reliable internet access.  What are they supposed to do with their school-aged children?  PK-5. Hell, even the older kids that can take care of themselves home alone.  When the schools closed this year a lot of kids in my son's class (high school) just sort of dropped off the face of the educational map.  3 months with not a single assignment turned in.  No communication with the teachers or their classmates.  Done.  There needs to be some sort of, as safe as is logistically possible, in-person option so these kids don't get lost.

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Obviously there are a lot factors to consider, but for an area that has done a good job controlling the virus spread, able to install safety measures to schools (masks, temperature readings, distancing), and has teachers willing to work in person then I don’t see why not. Obviously virtual classes must be supported for students and teachers who are uncomfortable to return.  If the overwhelming majority do not want to go back to school then schools should stay closed. 

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The only reason we are saying we have to open the schools is because trump, and other dipshit republicans, think "opening" the economy is the goal, and not keeping people safe and at home until we can actually get a handle on the virus because doing so would require intervention by the state and not for the benefit of corporate power

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10 minutes ago, Slug said:

I don't disagree.  I guess that's why I'm saying it should be optional.  Distance learning is preferred and they should get as many kids as possible on a remote program both for their own safety and to keep as few people in the buildings as possible for the kids that don't have a choice.  But for those families that don't have the resources to keep their kids home..I just don't think there is a realistic solution for that.  At least not right now and not by the beginning of the school year.  The folks with two jobs.  The single parent that has to work.  The families in rural areas without reliable internet access.  What are they supposed to do with their school-aged children?  Hell, even the older kids that can take care of themselves home alone.  When the schools closed this year a lot of kids in my son's class (high school) just sort of dropped off the face of the educational map.  3 months with not a single assignment turned in.  No communication with the teachers or their classmates.  Done.  There needs to be some sort of, as safe as is logistically possible, in-person option so these kids don't get lost.

That is the parents fault, and problem, not the teachers. This id a pandemic, and expecting teachers to work because parents can’t figure their shit out is wrong. 
 

Parents knew things might not improve by September, they should have prepared. 
 

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1 minute ago, BloodyHell said:

That is the parents fault, and problem, not the teachers. This id a pandemic, and expecting teachers to work because parents can’t figure their shit out is wrong. 
 

Parents knew things might not improve by September, they should have prepared. 

Other than, "hopefully find new jobs that let them work from home", I'm not sure what parents in those situations are supposed to have done to prepare.

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I said no, but I have a nuanced no.

 

1 week in the classroom, 2 weeks at home.  This would allow for only 1/3 of the students to be present in the school at any given time, which would allow for more social distancing in any given classroom, as you could have fewer kids in a class.   On the 2 weeks they are not at school, online learning can be done.  The two weeks out of school would also help with mitigating any outbreaks.

 

If that doesn't work, or can't be accomplished, online school only.  It's detrimental to kids, I realize that.  But so are dead teachers and grandparents because the kids become vectors for the virus.  With 60 million K-12 students in the country, there is a high likelihood that at least a few of these children will pass from the virus, and will likely kill hundreds, if not thousands of teachers and student family members. 

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1 minute ago, Slug said:

Other than, "hopefully find new jobs that let them work from home", I'm not sure what parents in those situations are supposed to have done to prepare.

Find private sitters/tutors. I don’t know, but its not teachers job to risk their life because parents might be inconvenienced.

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5 minutes ago, BloodyHell said:

That is the parents fault, and problem, not the teachers. This id a pandemic, and expecting teachers to work because parents can’t figure their shit out is wrong. 
 

Parents knew things might not improve by September, they should have prepared. 
 

 

Both the parents and the schools have responsibility too.  It seems as if most large school districts haven't come up with a solid plan. They should have had plans put together and broadcast to the parents back in May so the parents could prepare for the possibility of schooling from home.  That didn't happen for the most part. 

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1 minute ago, BloodyHell said:

Find private sitters/tutors. I don’t know, but its not teachers job to risk their life because parents might be inconvenienced.

With what money?  You know this affects the poorest people who are most likely to have lost their job right?

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Just now, mclumber1 said:

 

Both the parents and the schools have responsibility too.  It seems as if most large school districts haven't come up with a solid plan. They should have had plans put together and broadcast to the parents back in May so the parents could prepare for the possibility of schooling from home.  That didn't happen for the most part. 

Schools and teachers do not have a responsibility to risk their lives because parents find keeping their kid home inconvenient. 

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3 minutes ago, BloodyHell said:

Find private sitters/tutors.

I like the solution-minded thinking you've got going on, but I don't think it's that easy.  We're talking about people already living paycheck to paycheck.

3 minutes ago, BloodyHell said:

I don’t know, but its not teachers job to risk their life because parents might be inconvenienced.

I agree.

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We’ve always home schooled so it hasn’t been a change for us to have our kids home during this. Only thing that will be different for us this school year is our weekly co-op won’t be meeting.

 

I don’t have strong feelings either way about the public schools meeting in person or not.

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My sister is a high school teacher. From what she's said, trying to reopen schools at all sounds like a complete logistical nightmare that will just blow everything up. It's such a complex issue I can't really comprehend it enough to offer any solutions. 

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31 minutes ago, BloodyHell said:

That is the parents fault, and problem, not the teachers. This id a pandemic, and expecting teachers to work because parents can’t figure their shit out is wrong. 
 

Parents knew things might not improve by September, they should have prepared. 
 

 

DING DING DING... non parent alarm...

 

Parents are staring down multiple equally horrifying possibilities, because staying home sounds absolutely awful and going to school also sounds awful. Being a parent is very hard and this is an unprecedented and ridiculously stressful problem we are all facing.

 

Our society has been built without a good backup structure in place for the vast majority of parents to simply "figure it out.". Figure what out? What are we supposed to figure out?

 

You can take your flippant attitude and cram it up your ass. 

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2 minutes ago, TheLeon said:

My sister is a high school teacher. From what she's said, trying to reopen schools at all sounds like a complete logistical nightmare that will just blow everything up. It's such a complex issue I can't really comprehend it enough to offer any solutions. 

 

My school division (that I work for) has 11,000 students and 1,000 staff. In a regular flu season we operate on a knife's edge in terms of available substitutes, especially for support roles such as office managers (who tend to be older). With the anxiety and fear of having sick kids in school (which will happen regardless if they have COVID-19 or not), I guarantee we are going to have days where we can't find subs for many positions, and there will be no apparent solution.

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26 minutes ago, BloodyHell said:

Find private sitters/tutors. I don’t know, but its not teachers job to risk their life because parents might be inconvenienced.

 

So all 50 million school kids should have their parents get them tutors? Any other brilliant ideas you've got there?

 

What if they get hungry? Let them eat cake?

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This is a case, where, for the first time in a generation (or multiple), our society and civilization faces a challenge that is completely lose-lose, and there will be no solution. Some places will open up so that parents can work, but kids and teachers will die. In these types of situations we have seen re-organizations of societies, and I hope it will happen now.

 

Other places will shut down, and parents will lose their jobs and homes. The only reasonable solution that I can think of (besides getting the virus totally under control) is to have the government pay a UBI so people can stay home and take care of kids. This is extremely problematic as well since women will certainly be the ones staying home in most cases, so it will set back their careers by a huge degree. It will also be impossible in all but the most progressive places. Even where it is implemented, it will require huge tax increases after, hopefully on the rich (mostly) to pay back the debt. But at least interest rates are low, and the debt can be repaid over decades/centuries.

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It's just the shittiest possible reality.

 

Our situation isn't even that bad compared to most families. My wife is still going to work every day and I am able to work 100% from home and stay with my two kids. Online learning at the end of the school year was a total nightmare. Trying to work a stressful detail oriented, technical job as all of our clients (smaller retail chains) were panicking and freaking out, while simultaneously trying to be a parent and a teacher was insanely stressful. Any one day wasn't that bad, but do it for weeks and weeks and months and that shit just grinds you down.

 

I've been doing it for 126 days now (but who's counting) and it's been way easier during the summer since there is no organized school... but it's still a total nightmare.

 

My kids are missing out on everything. Their whole summer has been spent bumming around the house. No camp, no sports, no friends... (well, a tiny sliver, but not really). They're losing their minds. I'm losing my mind. Everyone is loopy and distant and going bananas. Now we're looking at no school and full time home school and I have to facilitate that and duo my job? It's a fucking mess. It's not sustainable... and then with all that said... it would be absolute LUNACY to send the kids back to school. Clearly that is a terrible idea. We all know exactly how that is going to go and I don't think there is any chance kids will go back and in states they do, I doubt it lasts more than a few months. A school is like the single worst environment for trying to control an outbreak I can think of. Sitting in a small room all day with a dozen other kids breathing the same air? Have you ever seen a kindergartner try to keep a mask on for 7 hours or not touch other people? Good luck with that.

 

This fall is going to capital S SUCK. It's gonna be bad.

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49 minutes ago, Jose said:

I mean the obvious answer is no, they shouldn't. But it also sucks that many people's answers amount to "get fucked, parents! Figure this shit out on your own!"

It's always worth repeating that this is because we just won't pay people to stay the fuck at home like in other countries, because of republicans and a few conservative dems

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