March 6, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Teach 25 kids, then tell educators schools can reopen safely

To the editor: Everyone wants schools to reopen, none more than educators and staff. At the same time, teachers know what it takes to keep children safe. (“L.A. Unified is officially out of excuses for keeping elementary schools closed,” editorial, Feb. 17)

I have to wonder how many people insisting on reopening schools have actually spent time in a classroom — say, with a couple dozen 5-year-olds who have trouble staying away from their classmates or even keeping their shoes on. How many educators have had to send students home who were dropped off at school with a fever because Dad had an important meeting that day?

Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Austin Beutner and the district’s teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles, want schools to reopen; they just want them to open safely with the least amount of risk possible. This means vaccines for teachers and staff, protective equipment and parent cooperation.

Those who are pushing for schools to reopen now should volunteer in a classroom six hours a day, five days a week, and look around and decide which of the students or staff they don’t mind dying or getting severely infected. They can’t exclude themselves. Then, we can talk.

Marilyn Fils, Tarzana

The writer is a retired administrator in the Los Angeles Unified Schools District.

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To the editor: As a retired teacher, I applaud The Times Editorial Board for saying that children should be back in school, and it should have happened a while ago.

A study of 90,000 children who were back in school in the fall showed that students rarely spread COVID-19 to each other or their teachers. In Boston Catholic schools, with a population of about 35,000 teachers, students and staff, not a single person has been reported hospitalized because of the virus.

Children are much safer in school than they are at home. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and many more experts say it is safe for children to go back to school with the proper precautions in place. In other parts of the country, kids have been back in school for months.

Depression, anxiety and social isolation have had devastating impacts on our children. Maybe vaccinate all teachers over age 55, and then get kids back in school.

Barbara Kimelman, Tarzana