Friday, February 19, 2021

"Won't Somebody Think Of The Children?!"

I know it's popular to blame familiar "boogey-men" like unions when things don't go to plan: it's the narrative, all new stories must serve the narrative. But my experience is just as many parents want schools to close as want schools to open RIGHT NOW!, and just as many teachers fall on either side of that divide, too.

As usual, no one is really paying attention to what the kids want.  (I saw that dynamic in family law practice, where divorces with children made those children the battleground.  Any exception just proved that rule, and I never saw an exception.)

Last fall, when one school district here (there are many in Harris County; 20 or more, I think) decided final exams had to be in school because cheating on-line was too hard to control (and it is.  I've learned that teaching on-line college classes), one family sent their child to school in full hazmat-PPE, in protest.  Even called the local TeeVee stations to make sure someone would get it on camera (they did).  Hand to God, those people did more harm to that child's spirit and psyche than the risk of covid ever would.

But, of course, parents don't have unions, so it doesn't fit the narrative.

Either way, if vaccinations are complete or nearly so by July, reasons to keep school closed any longer simply collapse.  Besides, it's not like Biden can order schools to open.  That's a state issue.  Funny how "states rights!" Republicans forget that, now.  But that's yet another matter.

I think the closure of schools has been, on the whole, a bad idea.  But who knew?  You do what you can with the information you have, and as you find out that's not the best response after all, it's really rather hard to reverse course mid-year, especially since there are as many parents demanding schools close down permanently and absolutely until all is SAFE AGAIN!, and those demanding schools not even require masks because children need to see whole faces (I am not making this up; any of it).

And, again, nobody gives the children a vote.  Maybe they should.

1 comment:

  1. It would be interesting to compare a country where they concentrated on vaccinating school-aged children as opposed to the American model of those at highest risk of death getting it before them. Years ago I read that in Japan it was mandatory for school-aged children to get the vaccinated for the current seasonal influenza but that they hardly gave any to old people who didn't much get it if the children didn't get it. I'm not an epidemiologist or really know much about the math of epidemiology so I don't know but it would be interesting to see what they conclude about that.

    The tales of online-teaching from my sisters who have done it and from the students who have supposedly done it, it's a real mixed bag. I think the ones who have done the best are ususally predictable because they're good students or self-motivated learners or have parents who make sure they're doing it. The others not so much. I wonder what percentage of those who it's a disaster for would have had much more success in a conventional classroom setting, without either parents making their kids do it the only other thing is self motivation and willingness to forego distractions and TV and media and gaming culture doesn't prepare people for that. I know we're supposed to respect pop culture but I'm ever more skeptical of the results of it, I think it leads to minds full of crap and voluntary disability.