I’ve thought about the school districts’ plans to reopen school and what the results may be. There’s a simple fact that I don’t really think I had internalized until today: Teachers will die..
That is absolutely unacceptable. The leadership that is allowing for this to happen should be held accountable for the deaths of every teacher and student that come from this preventable reopening of schools.
The US has a 3.4 percent case-fatality ratio. There are 3,582 teachers in Omaha Public schools, and about as many other staff. Assuming that half of the teachers get the coronavirus, that equals about 60 dead teachers.
What about students? It’s still unclear how symptoms manifest in younger children, but statistics seem to show that there are very few severe cases among those under 18.
But then we get to the parents. Omaha Public Schools has 53,194 students. Making some wild generalizations, let’s say that that’s 20,000 families. Assuming that each family has two adults in the household, that equals 40,000 adults that will be in contact with a child that was just in contact with hundreds of other children. If a quarter of OPS households got coronavirus, that equals 10,000 parents, or 340 dead parents.
This will be catastrophic
This isn’t just happening in our schools. The leadership of this country is trying to get people to work in person by not providing unemployment benefits, increasing their risk by not mandating masks in public, and putting them at risk of financial ruin by not providing universal healthcare. Do not be confused, the government’s response to this pandemic is an attack on the population.
It can be argued that the administration of this country is so abhorrently ignorant that they truly do not understand what devastating result reopening schools will have on our education system. It is clear, though, that the administration has had every opportunity to attempt to redeem themselves, to admit that there is even a problem, to begin to trust science. Just a few weeks ago, Trump wore a mask in public for the first time, showing that the administration does in fact have an idea that just maybe, there could be some sort of pandemic going on. They know, yet they will have schools reopen anyway.
How do we prevent this from happening when we go to school? The answer is to not go to school. Students, teachers, other staff, can best serve their community by refusing to go into a building and risk the lives and health of themselves, the students, and the students’ and their own families. While a general strike is far from possible right now, a school strike will protect students and have a chance at forcing government change.