RALEIGH – It’s exactly the wrong thing to do; experts around the world have cautioned against it; the science has been clear for months; but, in reaction to a surge in Pandemic Panic, several North Carolina school districts are closing schools again.
The news of a return to 100 percent online instruction comes on the heels of Governor Roy Cooper announcing a return to a ‘modified’ Stay-at-Home order, which is really a statewide curfew from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
In that press conference Cooper threatened further action to shutdown restaurants, bars, and other retail venues, too, if trends do not improve. And, considering the recent history we have to evaluate, these shutdowns will do nothing to actually stop the spread of the virus, while doing a lot to harm businesses and livelihoods.
Similarly, closing these schools will have no impact on the spread of the virus, while the act of futility will do wonders in harming kids’ education and well being.
“[…] On Tuesday night, the Johnston County Board of Education voted to return all students to remote learning until at least Jan. 15. The county and 27 others were just moved from orange into the critical red zone in North Carolina’s COVID-19 Alert System. Edgecombe and Sampson counties were included in that shift.
A total of 48 North Carolina counties are in the red zone.
Granville County Schools will also switch to remote learning on Dec. 16, and board members will decide in mid-January if it is safe to bring students back to campus. Hoke County students will revert to virtual learning starting Thursday and will learn remotely through at least Jan. 8.
Counties in the red zone have more than 200 new infections per 100,000 residents within 14 days and either a positive test rate greater than 10 percent or a high impact on local hospitals. […]”
Johnston County students only went back to in-person instruction weeks ago in October, a welcome relief from months of remote learning, only now to have the rug pulled out from under them while at least 99 percent of everyone associated with the schools has been fine.
“[…] In Johnston County Public Schools, 43 students have tested positive for coronavirus in the past week. That’s 0.1% of the student body. […]
Thirty-three staff members also tested positive, or less than 1% of the 5,000 who work for the school system, including teachers.
April Jones, the head of the Johnston County Teacher’s Association, said she surveyed nearly 900 teachers and found 85% want to return to remote learning because they are worried about their safety.
“There is no way to social distance when you have a classroom of 20 to 30 kids in elementary school,” said Jones. […]”
These are the fruits of fear mongering. Watching the news every evening, noticing the torrent of headlines announcing ‘record cases,’ and listening to Governor Cooper’s twice a week press conferences, it’s no wonder these teachers are scared. Fear has been beaten into anyone willing to suspend rationality in favor of the false comfort of mandates and shutdowns.
Closed now for the second time this year, the collective psychology of fear reinforced, it’s hard to figure when these poor kids will have a chance to go to school again.
More on school closures here.