Public schools face challenges

For Everett’s public schools to reopen in September, many hurdles must be overcome.

First and foremost is the danger that students pose not so much to themselves by associating with one another in classrooms, but rather, the danger they pose to their parents and their grandparents.

Again, youngsters have shown that the virus doesn’t attack them with the ferocity that it attacks those over 60. Even then, some 40% of those who contract the virus are under the age of 60, and some very young have contracted the virus as well.

Those are very bad odds where we come from. Let’s say we cast our fate to the wind and open the schools at all costs in September.

Accomplishing and putting into place social distancing standards – fewer students spaced far apart in fewer classes held at the same time in the same schools – does nothing to protect the teachers.

Teachers can catch the virus from their students or give it to others when they return home. Therein lies the rub. Older teachers would do well not to return in September if there is a September re-opening of the public schools.

Again, the dangers of cross contamination of teachers and students, and teachers and their loved ones, and students and their loved ones and parents and grandparents, make reopening treacherous to impossible under present standards of operation.

This is why reopening the public schools is such a question mark even at this late date.

Aside from the virus, here are the concomitant new realities about the school budget given the unknowns of what the federal government is going to give the states going broke, so the states can continue to fund their cities and towns and the public schools.

All signs are pointing to a possible meltdown. What to do? No one knows. Such are the perils of the virus on our society.

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