“I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools,” President Trump tweeted Wednesday. “While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!”
I inwardly rejoiced and immediately felt relieved at his words. The president gave voice to what I as a mom of five small children, two of whom are school-aged, have been thinking for quite some time.
By now, many of us have seen the tentative plans of our local districts to reopen schools. These plans range from reasonable to absolute lunacy. I, and mothers like me, fully support the safe reopening of schools, but without suffocating restrictions and psychological trauma to the children in our care.
As parents and caregivers review these policies, they continue to ask: How much of our children’s school days under these new requirements will be spent on actual learning? Have the authorities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and authors of these new rules ever spent time in a classroom?
It seems school days will be focused more on reminding children to keep masks on, stay six feet apart, not touch this or that, and walk on the yellow line than on learning. We should really ask ourselves whether this is truly keeping our children safe or if it’s more about adults covering themselves for a lawsuit that might not ever come.
Teachers tasked with enforcing these requirements will spend more time reminding their students to “put your mask back on properly” or “don’t hit your neighbor on the head with your mask” than they will teaching reading, writing, and math. Requiring small children to wear a mask for an entire school day is a recipe for disaster and, let’s be honest, a rule that will never actually be followed.
We know our children well, and we know that sending them to schools in environments like this, with burdensome restrictions, will not work. Meaningful learning will not occur, and I would rather homeschool my children than subject them to the prisons our schools will have to become in order to reopen.
I and other parents have taught our children how to be safe during these trying times. We have taught them how to properly wash their hands, stay home when they’re sick, cough into their elbows, and keep their distance from those who are most vulnerable, to name a few. But we are the parents, and the government isn’t.
Impractical school restrictions mark another leftist power grab to take my place as a parent, and I am here to say, “Not on my watch.” We do not need government overreach in our schools over a virus we now realize through research has very little effect on our children. And to what end? What happens when flu season begins in a few short months?
Moms, teachers, school officials, and anyone else worried about how these restrictions will psychologically affect our children: it’s time for us to find our voice. It’s time for us to start articulating what we all know to be true, that many of these restrictions are more about adults feeling like they’re doing something to fight the virus than about keeping kids safe.
We need to start calling our school boards as well as our local, state, and national leaders. It’s time to fight for our children, especially their mental health, and for our family’s well-being. Our kids need to be in school this fall, in a safe, nonrestrictive environment that facilitates learning.
The silent majority’s anger is irrelevant as long as we are silent. Rise up, parents, caregivers, teachers, and anyone willing to speak for the smallest and most vulnerable among us. We cannot afford to stay quiet on this.