Should public schools open on their normal schedules this fall?

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With the COVID-19 pandemic showing no sign of ending soon and even getting worse, some politicians and business leaders are urging public schools across the country to open on schedule. But many scientists, medical experts and educators caution that it’s too soon. Many suggest that, at least for now, if schools are to open, then classes should be taught online or at least primarily online.

What do you think? Should schools open as they always do with students in attendance or should things be different this year?

If you feel strongly that you have a better way than the options in our poll, please leave a comment. And remember, be respectful of those who comment who do not share your views. No ranting or name-calling, please.

And, as always, please stand by if the poll does not show up right away. Sometimes it’s a little slow out there in Internet-land and it takes a few moments.

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Michael
2 months ago

I am guessing that many who say schools should not fully open are basing their opinion on what they hear from the media and other outlets. While I respect their position, I would like to see the data that shows how opening up schools presents more of a threat than what we are already experiencing. From what I have researched, there is no data that suggests opening schools would produce any such consequence. That being said, I am open to discussion and am most willing to change my position if facts dictate I do so. However, at this point, people, including some scientists, are guessing, and the media is glorifying it because it sells. Again, open to and welcome other views, Thanks

Paul
2 months ago

If you can read this, don’t thank a Teacher. Coronavirus 2020

Rory R
3 months ago

I forgot to mention that the reason why I’m skeptical of leaving it up to the local school boards, is in many cases board members are looking to leap-frog up to a another political level, and will use this issue to get attention and prove that they can follow the party line. It makes no difference which party they are in, political ambition can be problematic in a case like this thay seems to be split more or less along party lines.

CTK
3 months ago

I respectfully submit the primary reason for the US being overrun by this virus is everyone (States) doing their own thing, thus allowing easy spread. Schools are just micro-communities of our society. When this virus spreads so rapidly when social distancing is not practiced, does that not suggest children being infected, but worse, the people outside of schools they will be infecting. Keeping one school system open while not another will only continue the spread. But lets face it. Americans as a whole do not have the disclipline to do what is necessary to control this pandemic. What we have now is a political pandemic that will not allow us to solve the medical pandemic. We all lose.

Sharon B
3 months ago
Reply to  CTK

Well said!

Larry Boswell
3 months ago

My Wife and I are retired 30 year public HS teachers. Our Daughter and her Husband are presently teachers. All four of us, along with a large portion of our present/past teaching acquaintances feel that the schools can be opened on a normal basis.

Don
3 months ago

Interesting how those who want them open in person apparently want to ignore the risk to the teachers and staff, AND to parents and grandparents of kids bringing the virus home from school. It’s irrelevant whether the kid gets it sick or not, they will become carriers if they’re mixing it up in classrooms.

Michael
2 months ago
Reply to  Don

While I respect your opinion, we have had grocery stores open during the entire event. All the workers who have come in to provide a service to the community notwithstanding the current situation. Each of them have been more exposed in a single day to who knows how many possibly infected customers, yet, we seem to not have a problem with that. So why are teachers so different from them? Just an observation…Thanks

BILLY Bob Thronton
3 months ago

This just in. CDC reports death rates for children 0-17 virtually non-existent. When compared to the the yearly flu virus, it barely registers. That would be the demographic for elementary, through H.S. However, multiple states ignore the science, and will not open for the fall semester.

Why is hard factual data being ignored is the question.

Chollyb
3 months ago

That is not what the data now available indicates. Infants have died. Grade schoolers are not likely to show symptoms but can be infected and thus share disease with Gramma and Grandpa. High schoolers can also be infected studies from Denmark, Sweden and Israel show. While sample sizes are low, data is there.

Monty
3 months ago
Reply to  Chollyb

Don’t visit grandma and grandpa.

Mike Albert
3 months ago

Tell that to the parents of the nine year old child that died this week from COVID. I find it alarming how people state facts from CDC and WHO that are non existent and completely taken out of context.
Before statements are made as facts do some research from reliable sources. Let’s not quote the POTUS, his facts are not always correct.
As far as hard data, the number of cases in the US is rising and if schools open “on time” we will continue to spread and grow the number of cases. We have to admit that we were not allowed to be prepared since we listened to those in charge. When we started to social distance as some said to deal and wear masks when unable to social distance and stay at home, the number of cases came down.
Please do the right thing and wear masks, social distance, and wash your hands. Yes, flu season will be here soon enough, but we haven’t gotten out of the first phase of COVID-19. Be safe!

Last edited 3 months ago by Mike Albert
Rory R
3 months ago

I think that report is out of date, Calif, Los Angeles County reported over 400 deaths of children under 17 yrs of age since Mar. Why are so many people willing to put their children at risk? If it causes a problem with your job, it can probably be worked out. I really don’t want anyone to feel the pain of losing their child.

Primo Rudy's Roadhouse
3 months ago

let the local school experts decide how and when the schools will open. Different local have different needs and risks. These are better managed at the local level. This year will be a challenge for us all and our educational system will also be challenged.

Bob Packer
3 months ago

Does anyone trust “experts” any more? Look at all of the misinformation eminating from the experts at CDC and the states when they report COVID deaths.

John C Jackson
3 months ago

Who are the school experts? When and where did these experts learn how to deal with this virus?

Ralph Pinney
3 months ago

For every one of the “many” medical and scientific person you quote as saying it’s not safe and we shouldn’t open schools there is another saying it is safe and we should open schools. But you choose to reference politicians and business people as the ones saying to open schools. Obviously not as qualified as the people you are quoting. Talk about biased journalism. If you can’t see that you are definitely part the left wing journalism that lost all credibility. Please let me know if you honestly cannot see how this is biased.

BILLY Bob Thronton
3 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Chuck, the science and statistics clearly state (CDC website) that the death risk is virtually non existent for the 0 to 17 age range. That is the current information we have available to us, at the present time. The real question that should be asked to all 50 governors is, given the almost non exitent risk, why would you keep schools closed for the fall semester. That is what should be asked, on behalf of every citizen in their respective states.

Do kids get sick, of course, but this virus, for what ever reason, attacks the over 50 population in astonding greater numbers. And the recorded deaths, by this virus are predominently, in persons who have other health complications.

Of course we need to make that part of the plan, but kids need to be in school, especially when the science, and the statistical data overwhelming points this out.

As to why this is not common knowledge when it is clearly in the public domain, indicates a bias. By who is for the public to decide.

Mike
3 months ago

I believe some form of mixed educational experiences might be best. This would allow the tracking of infected spreaders (so they can be briefly quarantined), and notification of those who had contact with the infected children (so they can self-quarantine). This will be hard to do but it may be necessary for several reasons:

  • A significant number of teachers have compromised health as does 25% of the U.S. population (allergies, obesity, and/or suffering from Diabetes just to name 3 biggies).
  • After school the children will go home, and from there to the store with their parent(s); to visit relatives or friends, etc. – again having contact with a significant number of people with the same compromised immune systems.

The issue isn’t “Will the kids die?” It is “What practices will slow the transmission of this virus till we get it under control?”

Michael
2 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

That is not necessarily true….while they may, they may not. Just my opinion, but there is not enough evidence to make a definite statement like that at this time.

Monty
2 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

A number of studies and reports in the U.S. and around the world show that, in the words of one study, “children play a minor role in the spread of the novel coronavirus. The virus is mainly spread between adults and from adult family members to children.”

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
2 months ago
Reply to  Monty

To Monty (from Diane): I looked up your link from PJ Media (formerly known as Pajamas Media).
Media Bias/Fact Check says: “Overall, we rate PJ Media to be Questionable based on extreme right-wing bias, promotion of propaganda and conspiracies as well as numerous failed fact checks.” https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/pj-media/
AllSides rates PJ Media, in part, as follows: “PJ Media has a Right media bias. AllSides changed PJ Media bias rating from Lean Right to Right following an independent review in July 2020. Alongside its News & Politics section, PJ Media’s site prominently features Homeland Security and Faith sections on its home page — issues generally seen as important to conservatives. Its writers are openly critical of Democrats and left-wing policies. Many of PJ Media’s news articles read like opinion pieces, inserting plentiful subjective value judgements alongside facts.” https://www.allsides.com/news-source/pj-media-media-bias
newsguardtech.com says about pjmedia.com: “A conservative site that has promoted misleading and unfounded claims, including about the COVID-19 pandemic, and does not distinguish between news and opinion.” https://www.newsguardtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/PJMedia.pdf
Wikipedia says: “PJ Media, originally known as Pajamas Media, is a subscription based[1] “opinion and commentary outlet of far-right politics”[2] which is part of Salem Media Group.” It goes on to list several false claims published by PJ Media. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PJ_Media
Just sayin’. 🙄 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Ralph Pinney
3 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Hi Chuck,
I’m truly sorry you cannot see the bias. I have seen this trick used so many times by the left. Fortunately, there are enough conservative journalists that present a different side of the issues.
I am also very disappointed to read your suggestion to move to China or North Korea. That kind of radical response is typically the last resort of the left. When unable to accept/acknowledge a valid opposing position, the response is something extreme. At least you didn’t call me a racist. It’s present here already, in case you hadn’t noticed. We have several news outlets that are as lockstep against the conservatives and cover up and give a pass to the sins of the left as the Chinese or North Korean media is in support of the communist regimes.
To restate the bias, you quoted politicians and business people that are looked on with disfavor and compared them to ‘scientists’ that are perceived as the ‘experts’.

Ralph Pinney
3 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

I’ll respectfully agree to disagree Chuck. Have a great day.

Sally Weigand
3 months ago

When schools reopen it should be with observation on all covid 19 precautions. If classrooms cannot space children far enough apart, they should be in school on shifts (as I was for my freshman year of high school). Not great but better than nothing.

Rosemarybryant
3 months ago

I think schools should open because a lot of parents have to work they don’t have the time to keep staying home with there child

Patrick
3 months ago
Reply to  Rosemarybryant

So, schools are babysitters.

KellyR
3 months ago
Reply to  Patrick

Yep, that is what they have become for too many parents. Can we really call them parents?

Felica Majette
3 months ago
Reply to  Patrick

School is not a baby sitter…you want to risk kids life cause you need a baby sitter.

BILLY Bob Thronton
3 months ago
Reply to  Patrick

No, they are not. But the after school programs are child care programs.

Julie Cortez
3 months ago
Reply to  Rosemarybryant

Aren’t you concerned they might catch something from their peers and spread it in your house?

BILLY Bob Thronton
3 months ago
Reply to  Julie Cortez

We live in a world of germs, so your statement is confusing. Please clarify. Thank you

Don Ambler
3 months ago

We are in a rural county in az with only 4 deaths and around 230 cases for a population of 30k , please don’t treat us the same as Phoenix metropolitan our kids need to be in school not online.

Julie Cortez
3 months ago
Reply to  Don Ambler

I’m in a small town too, but i don’t want it spread through our small town if i have to send my children to school.

Magee Willis
3 months ago
Reply to  Don Ambler

Rural county in Midwest – a lot of homes do not have internet both due to poverty and/or non-availability in far-flung areas. According to some teachers I have spoken with, most “good” students try to comply with lesson plans; most others do not. Some few parents have blocked teachers from contacting them, in many cases because they work in essential (food production) jobs and not at home to enforce learning. Very few Covid cases in the area and even fewer actually sick. In places like this, seems schools should be open. Depends on conditions in each area.

Jim
3 months ago

If kids aren’t physically in school, then ISD’s should reimburse taxes back to taxpayers. Just glad mine are college grads and don’t have to worry about it.

Rory R
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Schools are already underfunded, I don’t think that a refund is a good idea, who’s to say the funding won’t be reduced and those funds are then distributed to some pork-barrel project.

BILLY Bob Thronton
3 months ago
Reply to  Rory R

The statement that schools are underfunded is to broad based. Some might be, while some are not. Many studies indicate that there is NO CORRELATION between per student funding and graduation rate. There are many schools of thought on why that is the case, but funding indicates there is a disconnect.

Carmen Wiggins
3 months ago

I am a Georgia educator. We were dismissed in March when the numbers were a lot lower than now. We are expected to return during an actual pandemic, or perceived pandemic, depending on your point of view. Regardless of the point of view taken, people are dying. Please understand, I am eager to effectively educate my students. However, in my school we are being told we can not wear a mask while in the classroom giving instructions. We may can use a face shield. I’ve read the CDC report that theses are effective. I disagree. What is filtering the air with an open bottom face shield? Nothing. No one has the right to tell me or any other educator how to protect ourselves. I understand building rapport with students, but it’s more important to be well, safe, and protected if we are expected to be in the classroom during Covid-19.

Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Carmen Wiggins

Wow.

Roy Christensen
3 months ago
Reply to  Carmen Wiggins

I’m a retired teacher. We had a very good union to represent us. Being told we couldn’t wear a mask would not fly. In fact, starting schools up during a time of increased infections is just crazy. The teachers I know that are still working would love to have things be normal again. Teaching online is more work and less effective. It is also less rewarding and more difficult to connect with the students. We all want to go back to the way things were before. We have to be smart and patient. Maybe we’ll all be fortunate and a safe, effective vaccine will be produced sooner rather than later. Scientists tell us to wear masks, wash our hands and distance ourselves to lower the infection rate. Unfortunately, a classroom doesn’t lend itself to socially distancing and some students will not wear masks the way they should. I see many adults not following these simple rules. I doubt that their children will follow these rules either. I’m glad that I’m retired!

Julie Cortez
3 months ago

I totally agree!!! I know teachers that want to get back as theyiss theor students. People are acting like teachers think it’s easier when it truly isn’t. Teachers didn’t sign up for the job for the pay- so we need to keep an open mind to what teachers have to say.

BILLY Bob Thronton
3 months ago
Reply to  Julie Cortez

Home schoolers were not effected.

Julie Cortez
3 months ago
Reply to  Carmen Wiggins

There are labor laws that should protect you. That’s not responsible of your Board of Education to risk all their staff.

Ed D.
3 months ago
Reply to  Julie Cortez

Julie, most Teachers desks are at least 6 feet from the front row of students. If social distancing, wearing masks and taking precautions wouldn’t work in School, why take precautions at all? There are procedures that can be used to keep the students away from the Teachers. Not learning, for our youth, is not a good thing. Just as not going to work will eventually kill our economy beyond repair! Being “responsible” works both ways!

Felica Majette
3 months ago
Reply to  Carmen Wiggins

I totally agree your life matters

BILLY Bob Thronton
3 months ago
Reply to  Carmen Wiggins

You can disagree with the CDC, but you cannot disagree with your directive by your employer to return to the class as instructed with detailed directives. To do so would be insubordination. If you are a teacher that has medical issues, putting you in a risk category, i suggest you contact the superintendent for guidance, otherwise class will resume, as you indicated.

Marty
3 months ago
Reply to  Carmen Wiggins

I am appalled at the stance the GA governor is taking about masks. I wish you well.

jillie
3 months ago

Europe must know something this country does not know and are ignoring it. Send the children back to school. Asap.

KellyR
3 months ago
Reply to  jillie

What other countries, in Europe, know is respect for others. We have lost this in the past generation.

BILLY Bob Thronton
3 months ago
Reply to  jillie

Please, I implore all to read extensively on the empirical data from SWEDEN. Do not, I repeat DO NOT, read MSM issued articles, just data. ” and the truth shall set you free”.

Roy
3 months ago

I keep hearing about how dangerous it would be to reopen schools but here are some actual results. Switzerland never closed them or their daycares and Germany, the Netherlands and several other countries have reopened theirs yet the actual numbers of kids and adults from these schools show no signs of the disease spreading. According to CDC, from Jan to June there was 29 Coronavirus deaths of children 14 and under. During that same period there were 100 deaths from influenza. That’s 3.44 times the number of Covid-19 deaths.

Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Roy

Good info Roy! Facts don’t lie. You know, some folks are more afraid of facts than anything. All their “research” relies on what is regurgitated to them from CNN. Shame.

Ray
3 months ago
Reply to  Roy

Those countries you mentioned have also taken steps to flatten or eliminate the virus. The US has done one of the poorest jobs with controlling the spread of the virus. Yes facts are good, but we need apples to apples.

Ed D.
3 months ago
Reply to  Ray

Hey Ray, please explain what this country could have done differently? You made a general comment without actually pointing out your facts to back it up. So what didn’t this country do?

BILLY Bob Thronton
3 months ago
Reply to  Ed D.

Ed, hold your breathe, it ain’t commin’

Rory R
3 months ago
Reply to  Roy

Great facts, now what were the numbers in these countries. Apparently we in the US haven’t done something right, if these countries were able to stay open and have lower numbers then we have (percentage-wise).
Plus these countries all have given their furloughed or laid off workers more financial support. How can a country that cares so much about their pets, care so little about it’s human citizens?

BILLY Bob Thronton
3 months ago
Reply to  Roy

Roy Boy, I luv ya man. But, my sneaking suspicion is you might have upset the apple cart with facts. Just sayin dude.

Troy
3 months ago

My daughter is supposed to start kindergarten this year and I want her to have a great normal start to her academic career as possible! If someone doesn’t want their children to go to school, and prefers online education or homeschool then they should have that right. But with that being said I don’t think the rights of the rest of us that want to just live a normal free life and keep things the way they were should be taken away either. I want my daughter to go to school and have friends and do things that kids do. If she happens to get sick as much as I hate her being sick I know that it’s part of life and happens. If she were to come home and get me sick I know that happens too, and I’m ok with that too. I want to live not just be alive, what’s the point of being alive if you aren’t living! I know at least for me that my life is in God’s hands and only his will can be done as long as I trust and obey.

Keegsy
3 months ago
Reply to  Troy

Nothing about this year will be normal so get that idea out of your head. You literally said what is the point of living if you arent living. So if that is the case why would you not he patient and safe avoid the risk of death; which is the same thing as not living?

Last edited 3 months ago by Keegsy
Ed D.
3 months ago
Reply to  Keegsy

So because there are cars on the road and I could get hit by a car if I walk on the sidewalk, should I stay in my House to play it safe? We each have choices to make in our lives. A different choice by someone else, does not make that persons choice any less “valid” than your choice! So quit telling people to get their own thoughts out of their head. Their thoughts are not yours to determine!

Ed D.
3 months ago
Reply to  Troy

Troy…..Thank you for the thoughtful and well worded comment! But there will always be those that can’t have a discussion with others and basically tell you to “get that idea out of your head”. Such as Keegsy said to you. I, personally, agree with you totally.

BILLY Bob Thronton
3 months ago
Reply to  Troy

Troy, thank your parents, you might not realize it, but they nailed it with you son.

Tim Bear
3 months ago

And here’s another perspective: if it’s too risky for federal administration officials & cronies to be put in prison for their crimes (“a death sentence,” to hear their lawyers talk), how can anyone possibly feel it to be safe or appropriate to put children in an even less densely populated environment??

BILLY Bob Thronton
3 months ago
Reply to  Tim Bear

Tim, that’s easy. The statistics show it not the same. I implore all to use knowledge, it’s right in front of you.

Tim Bear
3 months ago

While having kids in classroom settings is, no doubt, better for instructional and study discipline reasons, I feel it’s always better that kids actually SURVIVE than receive a somewhat better lesson plan. Schools should be on-line only, unless a school district has zero COVID cases AND requires itinerary & info on contacts from the prior 14 days on every student, teacher, service staff AND administrator.

bisonwings
3 months ago

Our daughter-in-law and her mother both teach 5th grade. They both are adamant that the kids need to be back in school full time. For the following reasons, online teaching does not give the kids relief from the epidemic problem of abusive parents or guardians. Also it does not allow kids hands on learning in natural sciences, one on one problem solution and into many cases the nutritional benefits of 2 meals a day that are needed to be able to learn.
It’s a sad commentary on the American culture because one teaches in an upper-middle class area and the other in a lower class area.

Suru
3 months ago
Reply to  bisonwings

Yes, yes, yes, to everything you stated. As a recently retired teacher from a low socio-economic area, I have lost sleep over wondering about how some of my former students are coping with staying at home in their dysfunctional and dangerous households. I can almost guarantee no one in the home was helping with homeschooling and the children were not learning. I think we have to think about the emotional and physical harm that is happening to a surprising number of students by staying home. Do we subject students to the almost guarantee of abuse and neglect that will occur at home, or take the slim chance they might catch a virus with a 99% survival rate? It’s a tough call, but I personally feel kids should be in school.

Rory R
3 months ago
Reply to  Suru

My grandaughter got off to a bad start in her sophomore year (high school), her mother enrolled her in an online program in her jr year. After it was determined that non scholastic activities had become her focus. My granddaughter did her online assignments and went to the school on one day a week for testing. The results were she not only made up for sub-par grades from her sophomore year, she picked up enough credits to make her Sr year almost a breeze. The deal is online education will and could NEVER replace our dedicated teachers, but online education in addition to some personal help and encouragement in-person or online can be very effective It also depends on the student. For those of you who have never lost a child, you have no idea of the pain it causes, you are REQUIRED to wear safety equiptment or some type of uniform,or adhere to a dress code on your job, why is their no outcry re: personal rights there It is the same thing, someone is TELLING you what to do and you do it.

jillie
3 months ago
Reply to  bisonwings

Tucker Carlson made an excellent point and you all need to go find it. But yes, all schools need to reopen and stop scaring our children. I am all for reopening.