While millions of Americans, including doctors and nurses, truck drivers, grocery store workers, and many more, are working at jobs that expose them to potential SARS-Cov-2 infection, unions that represent one group at lower risk are fighting to not have to go back to work.
Is it dangerous to send teachers back in to the classroom? It turns out that it is significantly more dangerous to NOT send them back to teach.
“The greater risk to our society is to have schools closed,” warns CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, July 7, 2020:
And even the American Academy of Pediatrics, the principal medical society representing 67,000 pediatricians, concluded that it is not safe for children to be denied full-time classroom instruction:
“With the above principles in mind, the AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school. The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020. Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation. This, in turn, places children and adolescents at considerable risk of morbidity and, in some cases, mortality.”
It is clearly unsafe to prevent kids from school. But what about safety for teachers? Yes it is. The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity reports:
“In Europe, reopening schools has not led to a rise in COVID-19 cases. Denmark reopened schools on April 15, the first Western country to do so. But “you cannot see any negative effects from the reopening of schools,” said Peter Andersen of the Danish Serum Institute. Norway reopened schools on April 20, and cases there continue to trend downward. Austria reopened schools on May 18, and has not seen an increase in infections. Similar trends hold in Germany and Finland. A study of 541 students in northern France found zero cases of an infection transmitting from student to teacher.”https://freopp.org/reopening-americas-schools-and-colleges-during-covid-19-bdb35e3e32c4
You know how critical public and private schools are to the entire fabric of society in New Jersey and across the country. Public school teachers unions are sending the message that teachers are no more important than Walmart workers. The NJEA “reopening plan,“ is “Orwellian speak” for how to close your school using an impossible-to-achieve checklist.
The Union is also distributing action steps for union leaders to use to bind the districts up with minutia like proving when they “calibrated dampers.”
There are many common sense solutions to improving ventilation in classrooms, like opening windows and using inexpensive fans. But the unions do not seem interested in solutions as much as stalling and obstruction.
So folks, do not cave to the Union’s propaganda. Send teachers and kids back to school.