To the editor:
I would expect that teachers who value their profession and the good of their students would be pressing schools, both public and private, to fully re-open, but that does not appear to be the case. I would expect them, too, to have at least a modicum of courage, perhaps even as much as the men and women who work among crowds of adult shoppers, or in extended-care facilities, or restaurants, or day-care – the workers thanked for their bravery on all those signs.
Meanwhile, children will be online much more than is good for them. There are many reasons why children should be facing a teacher and not a screen, but one that has been quantified is that in adolescents, depression increases directly in relation to screen time, something that has caused a serious rise – at least 65% in teenage girls – in suicides.
Now we are keeping children from friends and healthy activities and sitting them in front of a screen. Why are we putting children in this precarious situation? What will happen to children whose families are unable to give them the support needed to cope with online “learning?”
Almost every decision is a trade-off. What is the trade-off here? It’s not in favor of children.
In Alexandria 75% of the deaths from COVID-19 occurred in people 70 and older, most of them probably much older, because the median age of death in the United States is around 78.
There are teachers who should stay home and protect themselves. If schools are essential, the rest of them need to go back to school.
-Sandra Levy, Alexandria