Sunday, July 12, 2020

Schools Open for Business Not Necessarily Education

Tampa Bay, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author:  In Search of Robin
, So You Want to Blog. 

Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida ramped up pressure on local school boards to reopen this week even as the coronavirus reached new epic proportions.
For some insight check out this article from the Tampa Bay Times  by Mary Ellen Klas: Gov. Ron DeSantis doubles down on schools reopening full-time in August.
DeSantis, who's likely legacy from his stint as Florida’s governor maybe that he oversaw the state's largest infection by a virus in the history of Florida. And he handled it poorly.
In a quote from the Times article, the governor said,” We spent months saying that there are certain things that were essential that included fast-food restaurants, it included Walmart and Home Depot and Lowe's. If all that is essential, then educating our kids is absolutely essential, and they've been put to the back of the line in some respects.”
That may be true but now DeSantis wants to put them in the Corona cross hairs.
There is general agreement between the experts that Florida opened too soon and too fast, with too little planning and insufficient leadership. Now the governor continues to put all of us at risk by attempting to mandate that public schools will open only to become an incubating bowl for an exploding coronavirus.
No matter how many times he says it, no matter how convincing the governor tries to make the argument for opening these schools; it is not nearly as much about education or protecting our children as it is getting people back to work so the economy will be booming in November for the general election.
As Governor DeSantis and the rest of the local and County politicians and school board members pitch this thing around like a soccer ball, the growing facts indicate reopening the schools without adequate protection, a declining caseload and  declining positivity rate will be an absolute recipe for another major spike in the Corona virus pandemic.
All of this push from the governor's office and a growing host of other up for election politicians to put kids back in school so people can get back to their hospitality jobs or whatever they're doing are supposed to be doing seems to me to be just a little self-serving at best.
If we haven't learned anything from this pandemic, we need to recognize that politicians are the last people that need to be in command of determining what is done in a public health crisis.
I don't know what your plans are for your kids. I don't have any public school-age children anymore, but I can tell you this, if I did the last place, they would be going to get their education this fall is a public school system populated with reluctant teachers, inadequate equipment, insufficient protection, poor planning and insufficient leadership.
While you're making the decision about what you're going to do with your school-age children come fall, keep this in mind: this will be the most aggressive and ugly political season most of us have experienced in our lifetimes. The health and safety of your children, you, your parents and your kid’s grandparents is way down on the list of concerns by Trump, DeSantis and most of the other major politicians in both parties this year.
Don't listen to what they say, watch what they are doing.
They are more than willing to stuff your kids into what by almost any judgement will be a situation destined to encourage the spread of the virus all for a few votes.
Remember, we do not really know what the long-range implications of the coronavirus are on young children. What they tell us is, “Oh it's OK… they don't get as sick, they recover more quickly. 
What we don't know is what legacy this virus is leaving behind, and we may not know that for a number of years.
The whole concept of putting kids back in school so one political party or the other can benefit from people getting back to work, the stock market going up and the economy roaring along is just insane.
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