School lunacy in Chicago, Evanston and Fairfax County Va.

School districts there follow the teachers unions and ignorant administrators, ignoring the science.

Prekindergarten teacher Aileen Reilly, left, talks to her students on the first day of in-person learning at Chicago's Dawes Elementary School on Jan. 11. (Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune)

Prekindergarten teacher Aileen Reilly, left, talks to her students on the first day of in-person learning at Chicago’s Dawes Elementary School on Jan. 11. (Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune)

The science is and has been clear: COVID-19 outbreaks aren’t driven by in-person classes, CDC says

The return to in-person classes in nearly two-thirds of the U.S. hasn’t led to a rash of community outbreaks, federal scientists said in a study of 2.87 million cases among those under age 24.

Disease rates in counties where in-person learning is available for school-aged children and adolescents is similar to areas where classes are entirely online, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It concludes schools should be the last to close, and the first to re-open.

Yet the unions representing teachers or school administrators in some jurisdictions continue their campaign against the school children.

In Chicago, the Chicago Teachers Union is riled that teachers have been ordered back to school in phases to conduct in-person learning, beginning with pre-kindergarten and special education students. Kindergarten through eighth grade students who opted for in-person learning will begin Feb. 1. The openings came after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot who, finally seeing the light and the science, wanted the schools open.

Most teachers have returned to the classroom and the more than 100 that refused are subject to disciplinary action and have been locked out of remote learning. The union continues to feed the myth that in-person learning is dangerous, with the same determination that President Donald Trump insists that he was elected in a “landslide.” Sadly, the students who are hurt most are minorities and disadvantaged who, studies show, are hurt the most by remote learning.

Up north in suburban Evanston, it is the school superintendent who has gone an astonishing step further. Blindly stubborn and arrogant, Devon Horton, superintendent of District 63 elementary schools, had ordered the schools be shuttered indefinitely. But perhaps because of the backlash, Horton said that an advisory committee will meet on Wednesday (Jan. 20) to “to further discuss the science and safety behind the safe reopening of our schools.” Whatever that means.

Adding insult to injury, Horton earlier responded to parental concerns about the schools being shut by suggesting that racism prompted the complaint. In a letter he wrote:

I’m sure that you have not had to reflect on your white supremist thinking and way of life. White Supremacy is no longer the white hooded villain attempting to cause physical harm. You make personal attacks towards me because we are not giving you what you want. I suggest you look in the mirror and reflect on who you are and how you are presenting yourself to an African American leader. I refuse to sit back and be assaulted about my decision making to not return to in person learning especially when the undertone is outright racists.”

Meanwhile, the teachers union in Fairfax County, Va., near Washington D.C. are not to be outdone in their demands for all kinds of protections from a risk that’s not present. (See the list of demands here.)

The district has set and postponed in-person opening dates at least three times and now the School Supt. Scott Brabrand says,  “We will return to school in person this coming school year.” Meaning what? Next summer?

Here’s the ballsy part. All the county school employees are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, as if they are essential workers.  Essential workers, that is, who are aren’t working in a situation where they would be exposed to the pandemic.

Whoa, even that’s not good enough. Kimberly Adams, the president of the Fairfax Education Association, issued a  statement:

Fairfax Education Association is clear that staff will need two doses before returning staff to in-person instruction. We are just at the beginning of this education vaccination time period. The Governor wants us to open safely and if he is committed to vaccination as he mentioned today, then we wait just over another month before we plan to open schools.

Good lord, who are these people who think that they can set education policy for an entire county? Maybe they should consider not just the science, but the fact that a student in Northbrook, Illinois committed suicide because, his parents said, the mandated remote teaching at his Glenbrook North High School aggravated his depression. Soon after, the school board decided to finally open in-person learning.

All in the face of this science:

A CDC study examined mental health symptoms in four different U.S. school districts during 2014–2018. Based on teacher and parent reports, about 1 in 6 students had enough behavioral or emotionalsymptoms and impairment to be diagnosed with a childhood mental disorder. [Emphasis in original.]

How long must parents and the rest of us put up with this destructive nonsense from people who have been entrusted to teacher our children?

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  • Guess I'm a racist and anti union for thinking children would be better served by being in school rather than roaming the streets. Many more children have been murdered on the streets, committed suicide, or taken to drugs, than died of Covid.
    And if health care workers, who are more exposed than teachers, can suck it up and do their job, why can't teachers under more protective environments?

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