Let’s face it friends, the FLDOE has never had teachers or public schools best interests at heart, the Corona Virus is no exception.

All over the country in states hit a lot less harder than ours, schools are closing yet our FLDOE and governor shrug their shoulders. Lets face it friends Tallahassee hasn’t really cared about public ed and teachers for years now. Why not risk their health if it saves them a buck.  

UNF Professor Chris Janson writes: 

 I’m going to be watching developments both locally and nationally over the next few days. Unfortunately, many experts are noting the expansion of infections in the US (as much as we can tell given the criminally incompetent lack of testing) is following a similar pattern to Italy, with us being about 10 days behind. If that holds, the decision to close all schools in this country will be obvious by the end of the weekend. And that is horrifying. Our only chance now is to flatten that curve of infections. We can’t do that while also sending 130,000 kids to school together along with the thousands of teachers and staff. Ohio has 5 confirmed cases but estimate 100,000 infections. 

We have at least 44 confirmed cases in FL with 1 in Duval. By the way, many of you now know that Mayor Curry publicly stated his frustration that he wasn’t even notified about the Duval case. The FLDOH is stonewalling attempts by the press to disclose testing info (how many, confirmations, etc.). So why on earth would we trust the judgments of the FLDOE? They don’t even have the information required to make a sensible decisions. There is great uncertainty and that won’t change soon.

The emotional duress and trauma we are all experiencing right now is rooted in uncertainty. We’re all feeling it and it is anguishing. UNF has shut things down on campus. That helps. Less uncertainty. What DCPS teachers and staff are experiencing now must be excruciating. I know that my two DCPS high school students (senior and sophomore) are petrified. They see TPC shutting fans out, NCAA and NBA shutting down, movie releases being pushed back . . . and then they get a message from relaying the DOE’s message to “continue normal operations at this time.” My 18 year-old’s response was, “what are normal operations? Empty soap dispensers? Soggy rolls of paper towels sitting in pools of water on the sink counters – if they’re there at all.” Absurd. It’s also absurd to EVEN CONSIDER moving forward in our schools with damn standardized testing under these circumstances now. 

Or are we going to just act like our students and teachers are completely devoid of feelings? This is trauma on a national scale and moving forward with any tests is complete folly and an obscenity. EOC, AP, IB, FSA. Doesn’t matter. They no longer will be testing content knowledge, but only ability to tolerate uncertainty and de-escalate the impacts of trauma.

My role as a parent includes helping my sons work through the anxiety, trauma, and uncertainty this event is causing. One way I’m doing this is telling them NOT to worry about having to be glued to their phones waiting for the next update from DCPS. Their safety, our safety, is not dependent on what the FLDOE or the superintendent decides. WE DECIDE. We decide whether they go to school or not (and if they decide that it’s safer at home I’ll make damn sure that deciding to do so does not negatively impact them academically).

Educators remember that the decision to protect your own and the community’s safety is yours to make. Not the FLDOE or your district leadership.

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