Editorial submitted by Conrad Doyle
If you have not had a conversation about the fall return to school plan, you might want to check your pulse. From our POTUS to our grounds keeper and everyone in between, every single person has an opinion on this subject.
Statistically speaking, regardless of your take on the issue, literally every single person and/or professional when asked, can support their opinion with an endless supply of statistics, surveys, opinions, etc.
Pardon the pun but, for every “school of thought” comes an avalanche of supporting surveys, statistics, reports, opinions, blah, blah, blah...all designed to persuade the public and convince us of the wisdom of each “school” of thought.
Oddly enough, I have yet to hear the response, or any recommendations, from the true “experts” in this entire industry...
What have the educators, the teachers, the instructors, the staff...the true “front-line” workers ,said? What have the transportation professionals said?
How in the world can these educators be expected to facilitate learning in an environment that is collectively speaking, the world largest mobile Petri -Dish? How are these men and women supposed to facilitate anything when they have to add all of the mandated rules to an already over-mandated profession? The logistics of social distancing alone is enough to make a person want to run and hide. Imagine if you have 50 students on your route that have to have their temperatures taken before boarding and then make sure they stay 6 ft. apart. If a student has none or refuses to wear a mask...what then? Oh, wait a minute, what about all the HIPPA laws and the permission forms that are required before performing or discussing the student’s current health status? If they are not feeling well, or have an elevated temperature, are our transportation providers trained and given the authority to discuss the student’s private medical conditions?
Now, let’s imagine all of these issues are worked out and all parties involved come to an amicable solution for just boarding the school bus... now what? As the transportation provider, you also must insure that you have disinfected and sanitized every inch of your bus from the entry handrail to the back and bottom of each seat and please don’t forget the windows. Oh, and you must also make sure you have plenty of hand sanitizer and disinfectants and that these chemicals do not contain any additives or ingredients that could cause an adverse reaction to any of your passengers.
If I still cannot visit my aged family members and friends, or go to church, or to my Dr’s office, and if most of the other participants are adults and understand the whole social distancing and masking thing, how in the world are transportation and education personnel supposed to insure the rules are followed by children and teens?
If adults will not follow the established rules, what magic potion will be given to our educators and staff that insures they will be safe as well as their pupils? With positive test numbers continuing to rise, what is the plan to prevent an absolute explosion in positive cases when school resumes? Will the teachers be held responsible if one of their pupils test positive? Will the teachers be held responsible when several pupils in the same class test positive? Will these same educators be responsible for disinfecting their classrooms, desks, doors, etc? Are they responsible for checking the temperatures of their students and then reporting said findings to those with a need to know? Are they bound by the same HIPPA laws that other professionals are required to follow?
Seems to me, these educators and staff members have enough responsibility and accountability on them without saddling them with the legal and medical aspects of COVID-19 as it pertains to their students and classrooms.