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)
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 pandemic. We 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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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
Please safe and healthy!
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.
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!