The White House wants teachers and kids back in school this fall, the insatiable, boneyard belly of the government hungry for more blood sacrifices from a population just trying to get through a pandemic that many officials aren’t taking nearly seriously enough. This is not a good idea for many reasons, especially in light of the US’ general failure to contain the virus without adding schools into the mix.
Dave Grohl—a guy irritatingly good at drumming, playing guitar, singing, being a nice guy, and now, as his monthly Atlantic articles show, writing about current events—has used his latest article to speak out against the plan to go ahead with re-opening in September.
He comes to the topic as the son of a retired public school teacher who “tirelessly devoted her life to the service of others.” Grohl writes about how difficult the job is for people like his mom, who already work in spite of infrastructural problems like overcrowded and underfunded classrooms. In interviewing her for the piece, Grohl describes the aspects of the job she’s most concerned that teachers will have to deal with: “masks and distancing, temperature checks, crowded busing, crowded hallways, sports, air-conditioning systems, lunchrooms, public restrooms, janitorial staff.”
Though Grohl notes the difficulties faced by continuing with remote learning, “especially for working-class and single parents,” he says reopening schools before we’re ready “in the name of rosy optics” would “be foolish to do” and would be “at the expense of our children, teachers, and schools.”
“America’s teachers are caught in a trap, set by indecisive and conflicting sectors of failed leadership that have never been in their position and can’t possibly relate to the unique challenges they face,” he writes. “Teachers want to teach, not die, and we should support and protect them like the national treasures that they are.”
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