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[COMMENTARY] Trump Makes School Reopenings Political, What’s the Right Decision?

As summer winds down, schools across the country are being faced with a difficult decision on whether or not to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Without anyone asking, Donald Trump has inserted himself into the discussion and turned it into a political issue. The president has threatened to withhold federal funding if schools don’t open.

Photo by MeidasTouch

“In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!”

The president is wrong. The aforementioned countries can reopen schools because they don’t have a coronavirus outbreak like the United States. The other countries acted accordingly and started limiting the spread of coronavirus months ago.

Trump is clearly trying to make it a political issue. But it is not. It is a decision that requires thoughtfulness and an ability to listen to the experts (which Trump has never done). Schools also need more funding if they want to reopen safely, not less.

Since the president of the United States can’t handle a thoughtful discussion, we will have to do it.

Should America reopen schools in the fall?

  • Why schools should open
  • Why schools should not open
    • Some teachers are at risk and they shouldn’t have to decide between risking their lives and teaching
    • Kids could act as super-spreaders of coronavirus by bringing germs back to family members and surrounding community members
    • Kids may not die but could get sick and have long-lasting negative impacts from coronavirus
    • Opening up with coronavirus restrictions in place might not set up a suitable learning environment or one that beats learning online/remotely
      • If teachers/kids are worried about getting coronavirus, how will they focus on teaching or learning?
      • Will teachers’ time be spent teaching or managing social distancing and coronavirus guidelines?
    • Some experts call for school closures
    • https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/10/us/politics/trump-schools-reopening.html
      • “Federal materials for reopening schools shared the week President Trump demanded weaker guidelines to do so, said fully reopening schools and universities remained the “highest risk” for the spread of the coronavirus.”
  • My opinion – Schools should remain closed
    • Teachers should not be put at risk of dying to teach. Remote learning is not as efficient, but it is better than risking countless lives across the country by putting teachers at risk in addition to whoever the kids interact with (family members, community members)
  • A creative solution is imperative
    • Unfortunately, a creative solution to this issue will not be coming from the White House administration
    • Schools should remain closed but the government needs to figure out ways to aid kids and parents to make sure that a year missed from school doesn’t result in stunting kids’ personal, educational and social growth
    • The government needs to help financially so parents who need to work away from home have the ability to make sure kids are in safe hands and are being productive with their time
    • And there shouldn’t be a solution that involves one answer for the entire country. Every county and state has different circumstances with the virus and that should be taken into account accordingly

At MeidasTouch, we don’t want to only insert our opinions, we want to create a discussion with everyone. If you want to be a part of this discussion, visit MeidasTouch on Reddit where we are talking about whether or not schools should open:

DISCUSSION: What do you think is the right move when it comes to opening up schools across America?

About Ryan Lipton

Ryan is a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in Business Journalism. He has written in the past for SB Nation’s Silver and Black Pride, USA Today Sports Media Group, North Carolina Business News Wire, the Daily Tar Heel, and has worked with Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league. Ryan is also a regular contributor to MeidasTouch.com

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