• Ginny for GA 20

Increase in COVID-19 cases makes reopening schools risky

As a retired educator, I know how exciting the beginning of a new school year should be for students, teachers and parents. But this year there are so many concerns about the safety of everyone in the school building there is no room left for excitement.

There is no single answer to the question of how to return to school. Each family must decide what is best for their child based on the school system’s plan. They also have to weigh how that decision will affect the rest of their immediate and extended family. And hopefully society as a whole, because it will take much longer, and we will lose many more lives if we don’t work together to address this horrific pandemic.

I believe that the local school boards and school superintendents are doing their best to develop a plan that they hope will fit the needs of their community. Yet the lack of clear and responsible direction from our present state and federal leaders makes their decisions all that much harder. That’s why knowing your leaders and what they stand for is so important. It is also why voting is essential this year. The health and safety of our children should be a nonpartisan issue. We should all be working together to find solutions that keep our children safe. We should trust that our voices are heard and our concerns taken seriously.

In my opinion, I believe it is too soon to open schools. Especially since we are seeing a drastic increase of COVID-19 patients. But if the schools do open as scheduled, I believe that everyone should be required to wear a mask. As a former elementary school teacher, I know this will be difficult but the safety of everyone in the school building should be our first concern. Most scientists and medical experts agree that this is one very essential way to fight this disease.

One of the things that is giving me hope is the network of parents developing creative solutions to help one another, even if it is just to say, “I am here. I hear what you are saying. You are not alone in trying to figure this out.”

I would like to add my voice to that. I am here. I hear what you are saying. And although I do not have all of the answers, I will always do my best to help you figure it out.

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