Let’s be clear about something. The coronavirus crisis is no longer an emergency situation. It might have been in March or April, but it absolutely is not as we enter the third week of November.
It’s a tragedy, it’s a problem, it’s a crisis, but it is not an emergency, and we have to stop treating it like one at the expense of our children. Thursday, all in-person public schooling in New York City will close again. There is no excuse for this given all we know now, and it is abusive towards our kids.
Scientific consensus is a term that gets tossed around far too often, that’s because it is generally simply a falsehood, but if there is any aspect of the coronavirus response that comes close to it, it is that schools are not big spreaders of the virus. This is not new information. We have known this for months, and it is backed up by multiple studies and just common sense looking at the numbers.
Bill de Blasio, the despicable mayor of Gotham, made an arbitrary decision when schools opened partially this fall that if the city reached a 3 percent positivity rate they would have to be closed again. Are the hospitals overrun? No. Are deaths spiking? No. Is there any strong evidence to suggest schools are a significant factor in our uptick in cases? No. It’s just a ridiculous promise de Blasio made to teachers unions, who know they have him in their pocket.
Kids all across the city have been thrilled over the past two months to see other kids, to learn things in person without glitches and glossed-over screen eyes. They have structure to their day, exercise at gym, and explore art, music, and drama. These were all once things that were viewed as essential. Nothing was more important, we were told; no expense could be spared, and it generally wasn’t. Now these are luxuries? Now it doesn’t matter because of a virus that 99.98 percent of people survive?
I have nothing but respect for homeschooling and the parents who are in a position to make that choice responsibly. I hope it grows. But for the vast majority of parents, whether single or a couple, it simply is not tenable, nor fair to the kids. A parent who refuses to provide a decent education for his children, who simply ignores the need, is guilty of child abuse; a government that does the same is no less guilty. And that’s where we are. The government of New York City is abusing its children.
Sane heads need to fix this now. We can well imagine, in fact we expect at this point that this closure will linger for weeks, then months, then maybe until next fall after a vaccine works its way through us. It’s not good enough. It is not close to good enough. Even if closing schools were a key to stopping the spread — and, again, the vast majority of the science says it isn’t — then denying school to children would still be morally questionable. As it is, it’s a moral abomination.
This is the part where I am supposed to talk about how this closure disproportionately hurts poor kids, homeless kids, kids of color, and gay kids, because that’s suppose to appeal to the leftist politicians making this choice. But guess what? They don’t care. It is literally all talk. They haven’t solved the problems that make this situation worse for these groups of kids. They have just bowed to the unions and ignored it. It’s wasted breath. They really are that pernicious and awful.
New York City parents and those across America where these evil restrictions are reemerging have to remember, and have to punish at the polls the politicians who steal this from our kids. This is not a small thing; a year of a child’s education is not a blip. It has negative ramifications for the entire rest of their lives. We already also know that based on the research about achievement gaps. We are abusing our children out of fear and panic, we should be ashamed ourselves, and we need to stop it.
If we cannot muster that shame and demand action, then our failure will be of generational proportions. Not just in the sense of failing the next generation, but of casting our own as the most cowardly and self-serving to ever trod ground in a place called America. End this madness now.