I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
August 4, 2020
As you may have heard, our school board unanimously decided during last night’s Zoom meeting to hold in-person classes at all of our district’s schools, starting August 10th. Although some parents have expressed concern about sending their children back to school in the midst of an out-of-control pandemic, we have come to the conclusion that in-person school is best for a number of reasons:
1. It’s your kid’s job to fix the economy. A deadly virus sweeping the globe pretty much guarantees an economic downturn, and that means everyone has to make sacrifices. Some must tighten their budgets. Others need to suck it up for the greater good and send their kids back to that petri dish of festering germs commonly known as ‘the classroom.’ It may help you to stop thinking of your children as special snowflakes and instead view them as tiny foot soldiers, doing their part to help revive our economy by marching bravely off to school. Your children must play a role in making America great again. And they must do it without talking in the hallways.
2. School is totally safe for kids. We think. Maybe. Anyway, our President says it’s safe and some pediatricians agree with him, and that’s good enough for us. All the researchers and doctors and epidemiologists and specialists and scientists and holders of multiple advanced degrees out there who disagree probably got their information from MSNBC and CNN, and WE ALL KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.
Even if it’s NOT totally safe, the hard truth is that our school environment is still better for some of our students than home right now, and our schools are able to provide meals for some students who might not otherwise get adequate nutrition. Plus, some of our parents are essential workers and need to be able to send their children to school in order to do their jobs. But since it isn’t really fair for these kids to get special treatment, we’re also sending in all the kids in our district who’d probably be just fine at home for a few more months, so that every seat in every classroom is filled. Our district motto this year is No Federal Funding Left Behind and we intend to stick to it, pandemic be damned.
3. The teachers are getting lazy. You parents know as well as we do that teachers have to be watched closely and never allowed to backslide in the important job of preparing all the Madeighsonnes and Braydens of our community for admission to a second-tier state college. Unfortunately, remote learning is merely an excuse for most teachers to remain in their pajamas and watch Wendy Williams while pretending to be actively involved in the education of our children. We expect our district’s teachers to do their jobs inside a classroom under the watchful eye of our school administrators in order to earn the incredibly generous salaries we offer them.
4. We have implemented special safety procedures to minimize spread of the virus. To improve air flow in our schools, we’ve approved emergency funding to add a box fan to every classroom by the time school starts on August 10th. We will also be equipping each of our teachers with a canister of Clorox wipes and a sewing pattern for a cloth mask. Middle and high school students will be seated in reverse four leaf clover formation. Elementary students will be seated boy-girl-boy-girl, ensuring their own self-adherence to social distancing guidelines. Students over the age of 12 will also be required to wear masks at all times except during PE and recess, in the cafeteria, while having snack time in the classroom, during sports, chorus, science labs, art, and music classes, and during times of high anxiety caused by situations including but not limited to missing homework, demerits, detention, and the shocking news that Parker hooked up with Krystle’s best friend Hadleigh over the summer. As for the buses, well, there’s nothing we can really do about that situation. But you’re welcome to find other transportation if you have a problem with it.
You may be asking yourself how we got to this place, where thousands of parents with no other viable option are being forced to send their precious children into buildings filled with hundreds of kids who don’t really give a damn about germs — all while news emerges daily of outbreaks among children and research showing small children may spread COVID more efficiently than adults, and multiple new studies suggesting older children spread the virus just as much as adults. While these findings do give us brief pause, we urge you to think of in-person school this year the way we’ve learned to view it — as a vitally important social experiment, one for which your children are uniquely suited since they’re too young to vote or make legally binding decisions for themselves. Your compliance with our back-to-school plan allows us to remain in our own homes and watch what happens when hundreds of students and teachers gather in closed spaces for hours every day, then use what we learn to decide whether it’s safe for the rest of us to return to our offices and board meetings.
We hope this information addresses all of your questions and concerns. We are very excited about the upcoming school year and hope you are as well! We look forward to seeing your children’s smiling eyes in our classrooms on August 10th.
Your School Board