I’m not sure where to begin to comment on Paula Matzke’s commentary Connecticut’s plan for reopening is a disaster in the making.  She seems to find and illustrate major concerns with going back to school, going back to school in masks and social distancing, and distance learning, with no offered solutions.  It’s interesting though that she, a teacher candidate at CCSU, closes with “Teacher’s unions around the country are already organizing collective action to demand explicit measures to ensure safety, adequate staffing, and fair compensation…”

So more staff and higher paychecks will make is safer to return to school?

Per the latest American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidance issued on June 29, the AAP “strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with the goal of having students physically present in school,” as “schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development and well-being.”  Remote/Distance learning, on the other hand, is likely to result in severe learning loss and increase social isolation.   Regarding the social and psychological aspect of our children’s health, that is pretty plain and clear language.

Also per the AAP’s guidance, there is mounting evidence that transmission of the coronavirus by young children is uncommon.  And contrary to Gov. Lamont’s statement that his guidelines are “endorsed” by AAP, the AAP argues that masks are probably not practical for children younger than middle school.  So regarding the physical aspect of our children’s health, that is also pretty plain and clear language.

We simply can not continue to duck and hide in fear, as this viewpoint proclaims in the closing line “…sacrificing thousands of lives”.  We’ve heard the death knell warnings since March.  We will be sacrificing the future of a large portion of our student population if we do not throw aside the words “new normal” and get back to educating our children normally.

Thomas Buzzi lives in New Hartford.

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