Why is there so much disagreement when it comes to our children?
On Monday, Porter’s Chapel Academy resumed classes, and this coming Monday, both Vicksburg Catholic Schools and the public schools plan to open. The public schools will also offer the option of distance learning.
The decision made by all these educational facilities to begin instruction must have been difficult, especially since the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow across the country and particularly in Mississippi and Warren County throughout the past few weeks.
I don’t envy the school administrators, and board of trustees and the decisions they must make.
No doubt, whatever the outcome, there will be some who criticize their decisions, whether it be due to a lack of the schools providing education for their child or if an outbreak of the virus occurs as a result of opening the schools.
The debate over whether to open schools continues on across the country, and I find it disgusting that in some cases once again something pertaining to the pandemic has become politicized rather than humanized.
This virus should never be used as a means to promote or tear down either side of the aisle.
It is discouraging that we have leaders in Washington who are taking advantage of the American public instead of promoting unity on all fronts.
In my opinion, these leaders have complicated an already dire situation, and certainly, for school administrations and parents when it comes to making the best decision on education, this has not alleviated concern.
And with the lack of anything consistent with the virus messaging, parents, I would think, are torn as to what is safe for their children.
A month ago, I watched a news program in which five pediatricians from across the county were interviewed. All said it was safe to send children back to school. Some went even so far as to say they would send their own children back to school.
Also, there are incidents reported on the news where children suffered from complications of the coronavirus, and worse, some have died.
Then there is the educational and mental health debate.
Many educators are warning of a decline in a student’s performance if there is no in-person learning and the possible psychological effects without the socialization with peers.
You also hear about the safety issues of children who may be living in abusive environments. When away from a school where a teacher, counselor, or administrator may become aware of and report mistreatment, some children could be in just as much danger as that brought on by getting the virus.
There is no straight or perfect answer when it comes to knowing if children should return to school for in-person learning, and my heart goes out to each and every parent and administrator having to make the decision of what to do.
I remember my experience of only having to worry over which teacher my child would get and which friends would be in the same class.
No doubt, every parent wishes these were their only concerns.
Next week, when more of our students in Vicksburg return to school, I encourage everyone to support the hard decisions that were made.
These children are our future and I hope all will grow in knowledge. I also pray each and every person will remain free of harm from the coronavirus.
Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.