The controversy of school reopening: Trump believes the pandemic will minimally affect students
Recently, Trump has “intensified his demand that schools fully reopen this fall, slamming the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pressuring it to loosen guidelines and threatening to cut funding for school districts that defied his demand to resume classes in person.”
The Washington Post reported that “School officials across the country have concluded they cannot fully reopen while following those guidelines because classrooms are too small to accommodate all students with the recommended distancing.”
The Trump administration disagrees with this view, and “presses the case that opening school is necessary for students’ academic and social-emotional well-being. Trump’s allies see a political imperative in convincing Americans that the nation has recovered from the coronavirus crisis. Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services Secretary, explained that “at home, kids aren’t benefiting from social stimulation. They may fall behind in learning. They may not be getting the nutrition that they get at school. It also may be difficult for parents to get back to work with children still at home.” While possibly true, it overlooks the possible life-harming threat of Covid-19.
Despite Trump’s efforts, school districts are adhering to their actions, based on their location. “Many school districts that resume in-person classes will probably not return to school full-time, given that schools are likely to stagger schedules and offer a hybrid of in-person and remote learning to limit class sizes and comply with social-distancing. New York City schools, the nation’s largest school system, announced a plan that will have most students in school two days a week and learning from home the other three. Many other systems have announced or are considering similar plans.” Likewise, “the large California school districts of Los Angeles and San Diego, which enroll some 825,000 students, just became the largest in the country to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August.” Recently, “Nashville, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Arlington, and Oakland have also said that they will start the school year remotely.”
The CDC, in May created thorough guidelines on ways to reopen schools safely, discussed here . The controversy the U.S. faces is that “Trump’s dismissal of the CDC’s work raises questions about whether the CDC’s recommendations would be driven by science or by the president’s preferences. Trump has also pressed local and state officials to reopen businesses and churches and to lift coronavirus restrictions. They seek to convince Americans that the nation is experiencing a ‘great American comeback’ after the economy and American life slowed sharply.”
“The president’s allies see his reelection riding on whether Americans know the country is moving past the coronavirus crisis or still mired in it. Schools are a vital element: many parents cannot go back to work if their children are at home. While there were successes, remote instruction cobbled together in the spring was a disaster in much of the country.”
With these empty threats to cut school funding, it is apparent that Trump believes that this virus and its effects will magically not affect students in school, their teachers, or adults involved in school administration. He still fails to grasp the severity of the COVID-19 crisis and primarily cares about his reelection. He wants the voters to believe the virus is behind them. The reality is that the virus will be with us all for a while. For the economy to recover from this worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression, it is time the U.S. has a strong leader who can take action to stop the virus, as many other countries have done successfully.
Let’s defeat Trump in this upcoming election! We can reverse his 2016 electoral college victory. Do you vote in one of the five crucial electoral college swing states — Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina or Wisconsin? We need your vote against Trump in this upcoming election to beat him. Let’s flip 38 electoral votes!
Visual Disobedience Campaign consultant
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