Should K-12 Schools Open in Covid-19 Times?
It's a tough question. It is similar to, "Damned if you do, damned if you don't". From the students to the school staff, the virus remains a real threat. A real potential of surging within a school district that could shutdown it and spread across the city or town. With no vaccine, what IS the best way to try to have a normal school curriculum?
Experts all differ in their opinions and schools have limited capacity to create social distancing and its enforcement among students, the same is true about wearing a mask, the same is true about washing hands, about sanitizing desks, equipment, etc. Then, there is the question about teacher and school staff safety, will they even be willing to go back to such an environment?
Trump simply wants to reopen the schools because it goes against most of the what the health experts and it will help him in the 2020 election. Fact is, he is one selfish man and could care less if any kid catches the virus while attending school. For him, it is all political, just like his refusal to wear a mask. He IS a rebel without a cause.
If one just thinks of all the problems and issues revolving around opening schools, all the costs, all the repercussions of enforcing social distancing, hand washing, wearing masks, sanitation needs etc., it should become clear that opening schools is going to be a major problem in every school district in America. It will be more expensive and you just know parents will be more than willing to file lawsuits against a school district where their child catches the virus despite their efforts. Lawsuits will be filed to keep school districts from opening. School staff will feel uncomfortable in such an environment especially when it comes to enforcement of any school rules regarding the virus.
Students are likely not to wear masks all the time while in school or wash their hands or keeping social distancing. I mean, even many adults refuse to do this! In middle and high schools, the enforcement will even be harder. As with society, unless your willing to have penalties for non-compliance with Covid-19 rules, they are rather useless. This will be the case in most schools.
Opening schools seems like it should happen, but how it will work, despite planning is dubious. There is also an economic impact, as many parents need to work after dropping their kids off at school. If they stay home, then, so do the parents most likely. All this causes a trickle effect. Remote learning is an option, but this occurs best at college level and much less effective in K-6. Not everyone has high speed internet or computers for this to work. Having shorter school days to minimize risks may help, but then so is the quality of learning.
Opening schools will open a new conundrum for all school districts and there are probably no good solutions.