Online learning is the safest and best option available.

By Whitney Reddick

When contemplating the return to school via face to face learning I have no doubt that the discussion is difficult and pacifying all parties is going to be a tough feat. However, starting school in a face to face setting is a dangerous outset.

The cost both monetary and to safely do so is not a track I am willing to place our students or teachers on as a stakeholder. I want to know what the policy will be for when a child in a classroom becomes ill?

What happens if that teacher has a child that attends another school? Did the district consider spending the money technology, or technical assistance to help safely return instead of going for physical barriers first?

Also, what message are we conveying to our educational community about how much we care? Not just teachers but all those who serve to teach our children daily from janitorial to administration. In all honesty, none. We are telling them that they are expendable. That we want to place them on the front lines to contract the illness and help create herd immunity.

Essentially, we are telling them they do not matter. Why would we risk one of the most valuable resources our community has? These are teachers who, no doubt, want to be back in the classroom yet we are taking away their ability to effectively teach our students by restricting movement, materials (no sharing), true social interactions, and bonding.

A great teacher can bond with students, no matter the setting. Please allow this to occur without a mask, plexiglass, and rigorous hand washing.

Allow our children to grow, for now, via online learning. Another standpoint I have seen parents and community members share is that the effect of distance learning is harming a child’s social abilities.

I would argue this point mute because seeing your friends in person yet having to stay at a safe distance, respond to them through a plexiglass shield, and the lack of true human interaction will, in fact, cause more harm than good.

I feel that when students see their peers, teachers (including resource), and friends online will provide a healthier approach to social interaction for the time being

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