Your Views: Return only when safe

Your Views: Return only when safe
A student participates in distance learning. (File Photo)

To the editor:

In response to your “Back to the Classroom” editorial in the Nov. 12 Alexandria Times, the issue at stake is not to open ACPS or not. It is whether to open only when it is safe or to open at any cost and jeopardize the health and safety of everyone involved.

As an ACPS parent and member of Grassroots Alexandria, I believe that the safety of our students and their families should be the highest priority, especially students from disadvantaged communities that are the hardest hit by COVID-19. This is also the position of Grassroots Alexandria as a whole.

The survey data shared by the ACPS board is very clear: white parents want to return at a higher rate than Black and Latino parents. Also, in the same survey, health and safety were reported as the top factor in both family and staff decision-making.

Fairfax and Arlington counties paused the return of student groups scheduled for November because of the increased rate of positive COVID-19 cases in the region. The real question we should be asking is: What lessons are we teaching our kids when we make their beloved teachers choose between losing their livelihood or potentially losing their lives or the life of a loved one?

-Abdel-Rahman El-Noubi, Alexandria