Tonight my son’s school had a live Q&A session with parents to go over the re-opening plans, precautions and what “The New Normal” would look like. I will tell you that I made the decision long ago that my son would not take part in in-person schooling until mask breaks were no longer a thing. Children need social interaction for so many reasons and the fact that I am hearing only whispers of this will long term affect our children is more then concerning.
Tonight made me sad on so many levels because there is no in between on how people feel about sending our precious children back to school – half are intensely for it and half are intensely opposed. I appreciate the efforts my sons school is taking to insure the safety of those who attend in-person classes as I am sure it has been very tiring trying to keep up with this constantly changing situation, but I cannot support the re-opening. I feel the schools that are pushed to or are pushing for re-open will soon be back to remote – it is simply too soon we have not have a 0 case day since the Pandemic started and we are slowly approaching flu season. Lets not even talk about the shortage of testing or the mess that has been and will continue to be,
Tonight they talked about one way hallways, mask breaks, face shields, mask lanyards, 6ft apart from friends, hand sanitizing, hand washing, no lockers, eating lunch alone with everyone facing the same way, social groups gone, specials severely altered, bathroom monitors, exposure, HVAC systems, transportation challenges and the list just goes on. Afterwards I sat down with my son and explained to him what school would look like and he said it best when he said “That is not school” and he is right, it is not. Everyone is making these big decisions for children, but how many of us are including our children in a decision or at least the conversation that will impact a huge part of their life? in my opinion not nearly enough of us. I do not know how long the district, state or school will allow parents to keep their children home before they start making threats or demands, but I do know that day will come.
I look at my son how social he is, how happy he is, how much he laughs, how much he loves hugs and high fives and then I imagine him eating lunch alone 6ft apart from his friends and the decision is easy. I am by no means well off as this does require a sacrifice of me not working which means very limited income and resources, but still I stand my choice one hundred times over. I cannot shield my son from all the effects of Covid, but I will not have him go to school as long as it resembles a combination of prison and a hospital. I will never judge a parent for the decisions they make for their children, but this was the only answer for me.