Reopening schools pits teachers against parents

Ordinarily, teachers and parents share similar views about the health and safety of children.  But these are not ordinary times (“The Coming Showdown over Schooling,” Commentary, July 13).

Two-thirds of educators polled by EdWeek’s Research Center wanted to keep schools closed indefinitely. In fact, a USA Today/Ipsos poll found that one in five teachers would refuse to go back to school if their classrooms reopened. Although public opinion seems to favor in-person instruction, teachers and their unions said the risks are too great.

Which side is right?  Only parents can decide if the harm of keeping schools closed outweighs the risks from Covid 19. There is no way to guarantee that schools will be totally safe from Covid 19.  Catholic schools so far have been more willing to reopen than public schools, but that may change.

(To post a comment, click on the title of this blog.)

2 Replies to “Reopening schools pits teachers against parents”

  1. No easy/obvious answers here. Perhaps there is scientific data out there re what happens in other countries when schools reopened with rates of covid infection in the community comparable to those in US communities today. If so, I have not seen reporting on that in the media.

    Clearly, reopening the economy and some social gatherings has resulted in a dramatic spike in covid cases and hospitalizations (while we wait to see how much of a spike there will be in covid deaths). Seems logical to assume that K-12 schools are the ultimate social gatherings — 15-to-30 people in a single indoor space with limited ventilation for many hours at a stretch — and that reopening the K-12 schools for in-person instruction would therefore also result in an additional dramatic spike in covid cases.

    The less certain issue is how much of an additional spike in hospitalizations and deaths would follow from the reopen-schools spike in covid cases. Again, seems like there should be some international data out there re these issues.

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  2. Labor Lawyer: There are risks reopening schools and not reopening schools. I’ve seen no conclusive evidence from other countries to support one side or the other. That’s why only parents can decide what they should do. It’s a tough call either way.

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