We have now been living through this pandemic for over a year and a half. We have way more data points and we know a lot more about how this virus behaves. Yet, most schools that decided to throw caution to the wind and open up early - have seen disproportionate counts of Covid outbreaks. In the absence of mitigation measures, attack rates have been much higher.
So why did we need to open up our schools before it was truly safe for us to do so? Well, in the name of achievement gap. In the name of kids falling behind. All of which are true statements.
But come to think of it, the achievement gap has been the widest in African-American and Latino families. Yet, surveys have shown that families of color didn’t necessarily want in-person schooling. When schools did open up, these families were among those least willing to send their kids back. That’s hardly a surprise. Systems have continually failed Black and Brown skinned people in this country. Trust cannot be gained overnight.
As the vaccination program continues to meet success, we should think about fewer and fewer restrictions in the days ahead. But that time is not now. At least not yet. Newer variants are emerging, increasing the risk of catching the virus. Let us please keep our children safe first. Better safe, than sorry. For the sake of everybody, especially the hardest-hit Hyphenated Americans. Please.