School: Back in Session Against All Odds (And Reason)

A few weeks ago I started receiving emails about the school district’s plan to reopen all campuses. They would offer online instructional lessons until the end of September, at that time, all students would be required to return to their designated schools. That was the plan until last night.

The Texas attorney general decided to pen an opinion piece in regards to the precautions schools were taking during the health crisis we are currently in. As confirmed cases in the state have skyrocketed in the last couple of months, I was fully expecting the same precautions to come into play for the coming school year. However, Ken Paxton has decided that there isn’t enough justification to delay physically reopening schools in Texas.

Based on the attorney general’s letter, or rather his opinion that there isn’t enough reason to continue to fund online learning, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) changed their plan to reopen schools. Shortly afterward, I received an email from the school district stating they would now be requiring students to be physically present by mid-August.

Let’s unpack this. Schools didn’t reopen after spring break out of an abundance of caution. What started as a week long extension of spring break turned into another two weeks, a month, and eventually the end of the school year. Parents praised teachers, finally realizing (or admitting) the weight and importance of their work wasn’t always reflected in their salaries. Shortly after the beginning of summer vacation Gov. Abbot began opening the state in phases, as most other states did.

People flooded any and all open establishments: no masks, no questions, no worries. Social distancing guidelines went out the window, thrown into a gust of wind named abandon. Businesses would display signs asking customers not to believe the “scamdemic made up by the left.” That was June. Since then Texas hit record numbers in confirmed cases and hospitals warned that they are either at capacity or quickly approaching it.

And now schools will follow the same trend – we are being herded into an unnecessary (and potentially deadly) risk by politicians who are more concerned with votes and fundraisers than the health of the people they are supposed to serve. We should be protecting our future generation, not serving them up in a petri dish.

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