There was always going to be a science-denying fringe exception to the rule.
On a day when AZ Central reported that the Grand Canyon State has the highest rate of pediatric COVID 19 cases in the country, several (mostly rural and in southeastern Maricopa County) Arizona school districts have apparently decided to ignore the state health benchmarks for reopenings and moved to start in-person instruction next Monday (August 17,2020.)
This despite the fact that no county in Arizona meets the state health benchmarks for holding in-person instruction.
One School Board Member, Nicole Cohen, from Lake Havasu (a district that voted to not offer in-person instruction right now,) insanely said that the state benchmark reopening guidelines were “ridiculous” and that:
“At some point, we are going to have to come up with an acceptable casualty rate, and nobody wants to have that conversation.”
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, after learning of these school districts reopening in-person instruction, tweeted:
ALL schools should follow @AZDHS public health benchmarks to protect their communities from the consequences of #COVID19. Not following them is a disservice to the educators who continue providing instruction via distance learning & families who are supporting distance learning.
— Kathy Hoffman (@Supt_Hoffman) August 12, 2020
Joan Greene, the 2018 and 2020 Democratic House Congressional District Five (which includes districts like Queen Creek and American Leadership Academy two educational entities that have decided to reopen) Nominee commented:
“Educators continue to say the same thing – they want to be able to go back into the classrooms but they do not feel the proper safety precautions have been taken. Parents need to stop yelling at the educators, who are their neighbors and friends, and start yelling at the GOP who refuse to fund the safety precautions that are needed.”
Seven teachers from the Queen Creek School District have already resigned rather than risk their health and lives with instructing children in the classroom.
Districts across the state are already facing a teacher shortage. The pandemic and how districts like those deciding to reopen in-person instruction will make it worse.
How well is it working out there with the reclosing of schools and the quarantining of students and educators?
Like EJ Montini wrote, Governor Ducey should have made these benchmarks a requirement.
Even Dr. Cara Crist, in bizarrely defending the reopening of schools in today’s briefing with Governor Ducey (before the video cut off,) said the information was still largely unknown (yeah right) on what would happen if kids came back to the classroom. She obviously has not been watching the national news.
These parents and school board members in these districts should not be anxious to put children and educators in a situation where they might meet God sooner than expected.
Reopening schools when the positivity rate goes below an acceptable level (seven percent in Arizona) after two weeks and all safety measures checked off will be risky enough as there is sure to be unfortunate Coronavirus incidents even then.
It is insane now with no county benchmark in Arizona indicating it is safe to reopen.
What are these school board members and parents thinking?
Do not believe what that idiot Lake Havasu board member and others like her have said. There is no such thing as an acceptable casualty rate.
They should rethink their position and change course.
It is not too late.