Hooray!!! Hooray!! Schools have reopened across the United States of America. Students, parents and educators have all looked forward to this eventuality since they were forced to create a hybrid educational indoctrination system using both remote learning and in-person instruction in 2020. The reopening of schools is undeniably beneficial for all learners yet concerns still loom in the shadows as issues related to public safety and health remain uncertain.
The challenges facing our educational indoctrination system, in the face of a pandemic still resurfacing globally, cannot be easily resolved or dismissed. There are simply too many variables with a lot at stake for US to simply – STOP. As a second home for children, schools have traditionally not only educated young people but also historically served as a “safe haven” for them to socially interact. Even with the past influx of school shootings and lockdowns, most Americans can still agree that we need to fight for them to retain this standard within communities.
School districts have now assumed the challenging responsibility to ensure the safe return of ALL students, staff and educators by following the guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) who initially said that unvaccinated K-12 children do not have to wear masks in school unless they are riding the school bus or their school decides otherwise. This suggestion was “recommended” not mandatory across the country. The CDC also advised students and staff to stay home when not feeling well which has always been the stated but often unfollowed protocol. Recently, the CDC guidelines have now shifted to “recommending” indoor masking for ALL teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Many school districts have already CHANGED their reopening approach to reflect the new protocols particularly those who have experienced a COVID-19 incident/outbreak in their schools. Sadly, some states such as Florida are not following the indoor masking protocols even as the Delta Variant of COVID-19 increases rapidly across the nation.
Vaccine requirements and mandates are based on the faulty assumption that the vaccines in question prevent transmission of the pathogen. They were never designed to do that. They only attenuate symptoms.
Recent studies have shown that the vaccinated — especially with the delta variant — and the unvaccinated have similar amounts of virus in their nose and throat.Dr. Christina Parks – Ph.D in Cellular and Molecular Biology
More than ever, flexibility is required by everyone in order to keep our children safe this fall especially since we continue to receive conflicting and evolving data on COVID-19. We should all continue to read the science based trends and/or look for the signs that resonate. With human nature being what it is, we can already anticipate more CHANGES to come but we cannot afford to ignore the denial of science or the free and uninhibited behavior of children. Whether we agree or not, schools must plan for the best and worst case scenarios using the current Covid-19 protocols available (simply call them Plan A-best case and Plan B-worst case). Both plan options might be required in 2021. The signs are evident that a Nu normal has arrived which means the school experience has CHANGED not just within the curriculum but recess as well.