To the editor,
I’d like to preface this letter by saying that my personal feelings about COVID-19 are neither here nor there. However, with the way our society has responded to this disease, I just don’t get why there is this expectation to start school in a month. We were shut down after spring break for the rest of the school year because of the perceived threat of the pandemic, which was just beginning to spread to and throughout the U.S. What was the point if we’re just sending kids, teachers, administrators and really, everyone’s families back into the fire? The collective stress is thicker than the humidity.
STRIKE. If teachers do, I support them. If professors do, I support them. In fact, I stand with them; as a mother of a school-aged child, as a woman who lost her university-affiliated job and can’t find employment and be a teacher to her child at the same time, my arms are firmly crossed against my chest and I’m saying “HELL NO.”
WHY are we even discussing school? Kids have to be vaccinated against chicken pox to attend, but not COVID-19, which is supposed to be a super-contagious, possibly life-threatening illness? Everyone has to risk their lives? Everyone has to run around like chickens with their heads cut off so that our kids can “keep up” with WHOM? Parents should also be striking; we are stuck between a rock and a hard place that society has created and perpetuated. This status quo is INVENTED. None of us need to send our kids to school until the threat of this disease is gone. No one will fall behind anyone. I personally can’t afford a homeschool curriculum, my child wouldn’t do it anyway without a fight, and I won’t handle any more stress. We’re staying in district, doing what our crappy, overpriced internet and mental sanity allows, and the rest of the time will be spent learning through things we enjoy. Summer vacation until COVID-19 goes away.
I know there’s no easy answer, but school now is not the fix. Instead of stressing about making sure my kid is learning all he can so he can “get ahead”, I’ll be stressing about how to pay our rent, put food on the table and manage through any car or medical emergencies we might have. He will be learning how to become an engineer while he plays with Legos.