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The Damage Done

Posted by Chuck Olynyk on July 6, 2020 at 9:05 PM

Today is Monday, July 6, 2020. Clerical staff at my old school are off until the 23rd. School in LAUSD is set to begin in mid-August. And the drum is being beaten, as it was to reopen the economy, reopen the beaches and the indoor dining and the restaurants, only to have the pandemic spike, and closures happen again.

But the pressure remains: “Schools must reopen! The country needs to appear normal as the campaign resumes.” And the road to the White House will be paved with the bodies of teachers, support staff, administrators… and children.

The San Francisco Chronicle, on July 2, reported that 40 South Bay school principals are in quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19 during an in-person meeting to plan the reopening of schools. Who knows how many other places this is happening in? After all, On a trip to Central California a couple of weeks ago, a maskless friend of a friend approached people to shake hands, and as he did, he asked, “Do you believe in COVID?” Like asking if you believe in the tooth fairy or the Easter Bunny.

This is madness.

I fear for my former colleagues, even the ones I never worked with, for the last the classes of kids I taught who will be seniors this year. and the kids I'll never have taught.

This is madness.

And those teachers and support staff, who are mocked and ridiculed and considered to be overpaid babysitters, even while parents were experiencing distance learning and (at least some "friends") were cursing that teachers shouldn't have gotten paid, will laud the fallen as heroes.

 

Just as when shooters would come on campuses and teachers would shield their students with their own bodies.

Commercials with angst-ridden soundtracks will play. News crews will film and try to wring tears from the situation. And new teachers, desperate for jobs. will step in.

And what of the students, who do not have the option of distance learning? You know, those students who depended upon those school meals and who don't have access to the technology for distance learning? They'll be asked, no, TOLD, to go in to crowded hallways, even if the classes aren't crowded, where the emphasis will be on cleaning and masks, and brave an unseen enemy more and more of our countrymen don't believe in.

The madness is stronger than the mask.

 

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