The Power of Front-line Parents As We Prepare for School Re-openings: We Must Safeguard Our Kids This Fall From Coronavirus by Carew Papritz (The Cowboy Philosopher)

Opinion Education Kids
3 years ago

The Power of Front-line Parents As We Prepare for School Re-openings: We Must Safeguard Our Kids This Fall From Coronavirus

As the school year approaches, we now must decide as parents, how to safeguard our most precious treasure – our children – while sending them into harm’s way in the midst of this ferocious coronavirus pandemicWe yearn for so much normal that we can’t fathom the start of school being anything other than normal. Yet no one wants to say the obvious  that it’s impossible not to send them into this viral storm.

So where does that leave us? A basket of impossible choices to choose from, ultimately playing Russian Roulette with the safety of our kids, our family, our towns – and our country. If our fundamental jobs as parents is to protect our child from harm, then we are about to fail in a monumental way.

We are the front line in our children’s lives. Why can’t we ask for the impossible? If our ultimate job is to protect, we will do nothing less than the impossible for our children. If we have to send our kids back to school, why are we are not asking for the safest possible way to do so. Why can’t we test every last child in America and then keep on testing them over and over again?

If we must send our kids back to school, and we cannot tolerate another day, week or month of online learning, then we have no choice but to ask for the impossible.

As the nationwide "guinea pigs," Arizona will be the first state to send kids back in less than four weeks, and with a one-third COVID-19 positivity rate statewide, it's crucial that they get in front of this surge!

We wield “parent power” every day in our children’s lives – and we know how to use it. We are the parents of 76 million students, and we need to use our amazing powers of influence to demand every last one of our kids gets tested.

Our children are not businesses to open or close at will. They are not bowling alleys or bars, or hair salons or movie theaters that can be opened or closed depending on the whim of the virus. Our kids are our lives. They need us to stand up for them – for their health and safety – for their lives. They need school. They need teachers. They need to learn.

TIK-TOK: Testing Is Knowledge. Test Our Kids!

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Elisa Schmitz
"A basket of impossible choices to choose from, ultimately playing Russian Roulette with the safety of our kids, our family, our towns – and our country." That's how I've been feeling, Carew Papritz (The Cowboy Philosopher) . What an impossible choice to have to make. You're right - parents have power. We need to stand up and ensure that if kids go back to school, they are safe. And teachers need to be safe, too. I feel for everyone who is working through these difficult issues right now! Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead Donna John Renee Herren Holly Budde Meredith Schneider Mike Prochaska Kim Kusiciel Tiffany Zook
Meredith Schneider
Carew Papritz (The Cowboy Philosopher) So can relate! This mom of 4 head is spinning. 🤪 our son is heading to Indiana University, Oldest daughter 15will be a Junior in high school, 12yr old 7th grader and 9 yr old 4th grader. Help! Returning the safest way as possible would be my choice and I’m willing to have my kids tested. There is so much unknown as to what could happen if and when kids return. How do we ensure everyone follows all protocols that is needed to return safely? Every state and every county is different based on cases in each area. Florida cases are way up. So we just heard today online learning will kick off the school year on August 10th. I want to see their plan though. March -May online learning was a nightmare. No online teaching, no structure, no consistency with grading, no accountability of the teachers it was a total shit show. Still trying to get in touch with one of my daughters middle school teachers through the principal because of the D she gave my daughter in History. 😳 She graded everything a 60 🤦‍♀️ most teachers don’t know how to use google classroom and that is unacceptable. In this world of technology it should be apart of their job requirements and continued training/learning all year round. What’s even more disturbing was watching the school board meetings and how clueless most came across. They are supposed to have a final vote on Wednesday and present their plan to the state. How about presenting and sharing their plan with the parents. I want to see what the schedule will be for the day. Not just having an an attendance question for the day and BS busy work assignment that bores them to tears.
Carew Papritz (The Cowboy Philosopher)
Dear Meredith,

Yes, as parents, we all know the "real" story of educating our kids during this time. I think if we as parents stand together with a singular voice, we can be heard by all the powers that need to hear us. It's truly amazing how nobody at these school board meetings even talks about testing. It's because, as a nation, we've all given up on it. But just because it's impossible doesn't mean we shouldn't pursue it.

I have been helping several school districts with trying to implement their sterilization and cleaning protocols (I also help out dental clinics). I was amazed out how little they knew. Now I have districts buying air filtration systems and electrostatic sprayers that can disinfect an entire school every night.

But when I asked the question about what the school would do in case a child or children came down with the symptoms, I was told that there was no real answer. The closest protocol they could come up with was "head lice." As in when a child get's head lice, all the other parents in the class should be notified.

And our district is then asking that all kids practice quarantining when they get home so they don't infect other members of the community. Yup. That's where we are.

Ask your school board some of these questions and see what the answers are. Please let me know so I can pass them on to others. We need to be vocal as parents. Let's start now! My best to you and your family during these difficult times. Carew
Carew Papritz (The Cowboy Philosopher)
As always, Elisa, I honored that you choose to post my work. I hope these ideas spur more parents to action. As tired, stressed, and worried as we are during this pandemic, we still can and must band together for our kids to protect their lives and their education. It is "parent power" that will make the difference now. To you and your family, stay safe and healthy. Regards, Carew
Carew Papritz (The Cowboy Philosopher)
I've started a national petition to "Ask the Impossible--Protect & Test Our School Kids for Covid-19." As a parent, please let your voices be heard and pass this on to others!
Please safe and healthy!
Carew Papritz
if schools are open in the fall, it is very important to take all precautions
Kerem Kaplan
That's not good idea to open schools during pandemic.
Mike Prochaska
Tests kids won’t work unless you test them everyday! My wife works in healthcare field and they want her to test her clients but it dont mean anything because one day you can test negative and then the next day you could test positive. So really are you going to test the kids everyday? Taking their temperature doesn’t work either. At least at my wife’s work all the clients who tested positive didn’t have a fever. I am going to send my children back to school when it opens because they want to go and I want them to see their friends. Ask me two weeks ago and I would be positive that it the right answer but ever week as it gets closer I wonder. But really as a parent you have to pretend whatever you pick is the best or the the kids will see right through you! And yes my head is spinning too and every day something new and hell I suposed to go back to work in daycare and I keep hearing the rules keep changing there too so one day at a time
Carew Papritz (The Cowboy Philosopher)

I agree with everything you are saying. The 30 Seconds post was taken from a larger op-ed that I wrote for newspapers around the US. What the above post does not include was my statement asking/demanding Covid testing for school kids, and that this was an impossibility in an impossible time.

What moved me to write the op-ed was the fact that no district has even considering testing kids coming back to school because we've basically given up on any sort of universal testing--let alone for school kids.

I've worked in the healthcare field and having been acting as a advisor of sorts to our school districts on how to implement various sterilization and sanitation protocols for their schools. I was amazed at how little they knew. Even more so, how little prepared they were.

What also was not included in this post was the following:

"Why do we need to test our kids for the virus? Because it’s the only real way we can discover if the virus is trying to infiltrate our schools. It’s the only real way we can protects students from giving it to other students, who give it to their teachers or bus drivers, who give it to their parents or their grandparents, who then give it to other people in the community, who then give it to . . . you get the picture.
We are all vulnerable. Because if we can’t protect our kids, then we can’t protect our families—and we can’t protect our communities and all the families in those communities. We can’t."

And this is only for the opening of schools. Of course, you'd have to practically test every day, which is impossible. But asking for the impossible is important. Because we truly need to understand the bigger safety issues of what it means to bring our kids back to school weighed against the very real need for them to be in school.

Yes, Mike, I appreciate your comments. And yes, it is one day at a time. I feel that's really where we are all at.

I hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy during these times.

Best regards,
Elisa Schmitz
Thank you, Carew Papritz (The Cowboy Philosopher) , for your very thoughtful responses to these great comments by Meredith Schneider and Mike Prochaska . It is not an easy situation. We have to keep talking about it so we make this as safe as possible for our kids and our teachers. They deserve our very best efforts. Thank you, Meredith and Mike, for sharing your perspectives, too! Did you guys see Carew's feedback? He didn't tag you so I want to make sure you saw what he replied to you!
Carew Papritz (The Cowboy Philosopher)
Thank you, Elisa, for providing a platform to discuss this very timely and important transition in our children's lives during this pandemic.

Again, for those of you so inclined, I would like you to consider reading my entire Op-ed, Why “Front-Line” Parents Must Ask the Impossible. To Save Our Schools—Our Children, Families, Communities—and Country."

This Op-ed is located on the site where I'm asking parents to sign a petition to our leaders, asking them to provide testing for our kids before we open our schools and throughout the school year. Please consider this petition as a way our parenting voices can be heard!
Carew Papritz (The Cowboy Philosopher)
WE reached 1000+ on our nationwide petition to demand Covid-19 testing for all school children nationwide--and to keep testing. Would love for you all to join in and make this a reality! Thank you for your support!
Children must learn despite such difficulties. It's good that now is the 21st century and there is the Internet, which will always help them.
Carew Papritz (The Cowboy Philosopher)
Mikke, it's been such a mixed blessing with the internet during the pandemic. If we didn't have it, there probably would have been virtually no schooling. On the other hand, kids definitely got "zoomed" out. I think we all finally learned the value of teachers and schools in a way we wouldn't have were it not for the pandemic. A strange blessing indeed! Best regards, Carew

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