By Samuel Strait, Report at Large – March 18, 2021

Recently the Del Norte Unified School District’s Superintendent, Jeff
Harris, offered his report to the District’s School Board with
frustrations over the lack of consistent messaging from the State
regarding policy towards opening schools and getting back to educating
our youth.  Part of his complaint is with policies which make holding
class in school with less than four feet of distancing between students
and six feet of distancing from teachers make it difficult for the
district with limits on class room size to accomplish such a mandate
without increasing teaching staff as well as lack of sufficient class
room space to accomplish that task for the entire student body.  He also
feels that lack of attention by the State to provide vaccinations for
his staff is largely the result of Sacramento’s indifference to this
largely rural part of California.

What is most interesting about Mr. Harris and the State’s response to
the trials of providing education to young people, is that their appears
to be no effort to understand that young people have very little chance
of being seriously affected by Covid-19 unless they have some sort of
serious health issue.  Similarly there seems to be an unwillingness by
public health and public school to acknowledge the fact that since most
young people display few if any symptoms associated with the virus, the
chance of transmission remains exceptionally low.  Teachers who fear
coming in contact with the virus are far more likely to contract the
virus shopping in their local grocery store, masked and socially
distanced, than in the classroom.  The idea that safety precautions must
be paramount to reopening schools seems at the very best to be hardly
worse than what has happened over the past year where suicides and drug deaths have ramped up in a youth population that is barely affected by the virus.

As far as the complaint that vaccines do not seem to be making an
appearance in sufficient quantities in the County, nor for the use of
the District’s staff, Mr. Harris should know that a vaccinated person
can still become infected by the virus and pass it along. A vaccine
simply put, will prevent the recipient from experiencing the worst
effects of infection by the virus.  It does not in any way guarantee
immunity.

It would seem that had Mr. Harris become frustrated with the State’s
behavior, 2020’s  spring disaster in our local schools would have given
Mr. Harris the entire summer to lobby the state and encourage parents to
protest what clearly did not work and resume real education last fall. 
Now that the dithering in our local schools have wasted yet another year
of education, it seems that this is at least a step in the right
direction, if for the wrong reasons.  Clearly this County has
experienced much difficulty during the past year of which the State has
been responsible.  To continue this pointless charade mandated by the
State which has been revealed on a number of occasions as detrimental to
Del Norte County and California should be stopped. Our youth need to
return to school in a normal environment without all the hand wringing
over non existent “safety” concerns or lack of vaccinations.

One thought on “Return students to schools already”
  1. I feel very strong about teachers getting paid for ??? sitting, vacations, more money? It may not matter to teachers but parents are upset about this. I think the teachers better start listening to parents, and the unions and teachers forget its all about the students.

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