RALEIGH – Parents around the state have been waiting for weeks to find out if and how their kids will return to school in the fall amid the Pandemic Panic. Governor Roy Cooper broke the suspense Tuesday in announcing he was selecting ‘Plan B’ for school reopenings, prescribing a mixture of in-school instruction and virtual distance learning while limiting school capacity to 50 percent. The plan requires even kindergartners to wear masks.
The in-between measure didn’t quite satisfy the fear mongers, but it certainly frustrates working parents that, aside from the logistical nightmare, know that ‘virtual learning’ is no panacea.
Cooper also extended Phase 2 of lockdown for the state, which keeps bars, gyms, and other businesses closed, while limiting capacity and mass gatherings everywhere else. The mask mandate was reaffirmed as well.
It all amounts to Governor Cooper extending his unilateral rule over North Carolina, suspending individual rights for select groups in the name of the intangible and ever present ‘common good.’
N.C. Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) released a statement shortly after the governor’s announcement, asking question many are wrestling with as the executive branch continues its attempt micromanage our lives.
“Gov. Cooper’s plan gets students halfway to where they need to be. But much like jumping over a creek, halfway doesn’t cut it.
The Governor’s plan makes worse the very inequities a public school system is supposed to resolve. Students whose parents do not have the time or resources to supplement ‘virtual’ schooling will fall even further behind simply because of the condition of their birth. That’s an unspeakable travesty.
And parents who do not have the privilege of working from home can’t take off every other day from work. What are they supposed to do?
The Governor permits parents to choose full remote learning — he must also permit parents to choose full in-person learning as well.
I also have serious questions about the requirement for masks on five-year-olds, which contradicts the Cooper Administration’s own guidance for child care centers. What happens when a kindergartner removes a mask? Does the Governor really expect teachers to have any chance of enforcing this mandate?”
If private schools weren’t being inundated before, they’re certainly facing a stampede of desperate parents after Cooper’s decree.
All of this happens as there is literally no scientific basis for viewing in-person school instruction, children, and even teachers as at any elevated risk from the coronavirus. Indeed, the risk to children from this virus is significantly less than that of the seasonal flu, and all indications are that children are not transmitters of the pathogen.
No matter; the false sense of sanctimony and fomented fear is enough to embolden Cooper and the ‘Keep It Closed’ crowd. Speaker of the N.C. House had this to say in response to the governor’s announcement Tuesday: