July 8 2020
Dear Mr. President,
Let’s talk about education. You and the First Lady led a “discussion” about the importance of getting our nation’s school opened again for the Fall. Brilliant. Most of the parents and kids and teachers and bus drivers and administrators and secretaries and aides and janitorial staff and school nurses, social workers, speech therapists and hall monitors and cafeteria workers and before and after school care givers hadn’t thought about returning to schools for months. Everyone just thought the new normal would be plenty of free time to play video games. But you and the First Lady reminded us of the importance of schools in our lives. Thank you so much for that insight.
After all, it is July. Time to start planning the school year.
So, how do we do this safely? Isn’t that the real question? Well, it’s one of the thousands of questions and details that need to be worked on. Did you know that most school districts and colleges and universities have been working on plans since March? Everyone agrees that it’s better for everyone with children in school. I know you thought that Democrats don’t want the schools open because they want to defeat you in the November election. I really don’t think that is the reason they want to defeat you, pretty sure there are other reasons. Also, I’m pretty sure even Antifa wants students back in school. Also, please don’t blame teachers who are worried about returning safely. Lots of teachers catch colds and flu from the students during the early part of the school year. The kids may not be so sick but it is hard for teachers and other adults. That may be one of the reasons the Corona Virus scares them.
Usually the start of school is the late summer, early fall. I believe that the traditional school year had something to do with farmers needing help in the fields during the growing season. That seems a bit 19th century, doesn’t it? Things have really changed since you were in K-12. Computers, school ID’s with pictures, and other technology make certain kinds of learning very different from what you experienced and make it way harder to cheat on SAT’s.
I read part of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for opening schools. It’s very complicated and detailed. There are the usual “wash your hands”, “stay 3-6 feet apart” (depending on the age of the student) and wear “face coverings” (that means masks). The CDC guidelines and Department of Education are somewhat vague and very confusing. Most of the states have also issued plans that are flexible, based on current data and information and open to change. Your advice was “open and don’t make the guidelines too tough or expensive”. Then you threatened to take away money from districts that didn’t open. None of that was helpful.
Look, we all know that you want the economy to bounce back so you can run your campaign on that issue and for that you need the school to be open. Things may not really get going until the “Unseen Enemy” is under better control in many states. You and Ms. DeVos’s comments are not as helpful to local districts as they could be. The governors and local officials are telling you what they need and it is not threats. Most teachers know some behavior modification techniques and use them. The most important one is Rewarding Desirable Behavior, not spewing insults, threats or drivel. Everyone knows schools need to be open. The devil is in the details.
Also, teachers have had months to work on indoctrination methods and are anxious to get going on them again.