Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Opinion: Teachers are more than Covid data points - CNN

Opinion: Teachers are more than Covid data points - CNN
Too many parents and decision makers treat teachers like they don't matter

(CNN)Julie Davis, 49, was an inspirational third grade teacher, a "mother to everyone," who attended her students' extracurriculars and donated to children in need. About three weeks after a student at her North Carolina school tested positive for Covid-19, Davis fell ill. This mother and grandmother died certain, her brother said, that she caught the virus at school (an assessment the superintendent said was unproven). One week after Davis's death, her school system shifted to virtual instruction because of rampant Covid-19 infections in the schools and community.

Alexandra Robbins
Amid growing numbers of Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths, I've spoken to educators who told me they're afraid for their lives and the health of their loved ones. Meanwhile, some organized groups of parents are issuing increasingly forceful calls to reopen schools. But too many of them neglect the teachers.
This neglect fits a pattern. In March, some districts initially failed to heed teachers' pleas to close, forcing them to keep working in person; at least 70 school-based staff died in New York City alone, though it's unclear whether they contracted the disease in schools. In a statement emailed to New York City outlet THE CITY in response to questions in May about how the Department of Education had handled the situation, a spokeswoman said that DOE's practice was to "immediately" notify school communities about Covid cases confirmed by the state Department of Health and added, "All our decisions are informed by public health experts in order to protect the health and safety of our students and staff." In the summer, some decision makers excluded teachers from discussions about how to operate pandemic classrooms. And now, many parents and pundits alike are ignoring teachers again.
    America faces a dissonant, CONTINUE READING: Opinion: Teachers are more than Covid data points - CNN