Friday, July 31, 2020


I have a sign on myy desk:  IF YOU KNOW TEACH! IF YOU DON'T KNOW LEARN!

I wanted to get back into the classroom in March and the pandemic ended that.  I loathed the public schools of Nashville and the sheer level of daily trauma that existed there infected me with so much self loathing,  I truly thought something was wrong with me.  As a result, I have become well practiced with social isolation and can add physical distancing to my resume. I like kids, those kids engaged, willing and open. They are few and far in between in public schools, as public schools have become dumpsters and the kids and staff are tossed in like garbage and we dumpster dive to find our resources in which to somehow emerge as better than when we came in. We are all recycled in some way.

As we have seen in the last few months the hysterical counterpart to the the Black Lives Matter movement, the white pouter crowd. They wave guns, they eschew masks, they rant and rave about Socialism and monuments to dead Confederates as if they are the most inspirational folks ever to live.  I have news for you, they were on the losing side so really?  Next time the Super Bowl happens let's give trophies to everyone!

Today it was discovered at a sleep over camp in Georgia (as well always, the South is rising alright)that in fact a large percentage of the children and staff contracted Covid.

The report, released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, details an outbreak at a sleep-away camp in Georgia last month in which 260 children and staff — more than three-quarters of those tested — contracted the virus less than a week after spending time together in close quarters. The children had a median age of 12. The camp had required all 597 campers and staff to provide documentation they had tested negative for the virus before coming. Staff were required to wear masks, but children were not

“Asymptomatic infection was common and potentially contributed to undetected transmission, as has been previously reported. This investigation adds to the body of evidence demonstrating that children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

The CDC released a separate statement with a headline about “the importance of CDC mitigation strategies,” rather than about the incident’s implications for viral transmission in children. The statement noted that by not requiring campers to wear masks, or airing out cabins, the camp had not followed CDC reopening guidance, and also pointed to “daily vigorous singing and shouting” as potential contributing factors.

“Correct and consistent use of cloth masks, rigorous cleaning and sanitizing, social distancing, and frequent hand-washing strategies, which are recommended in CDC’s recently released guidance to reopen America’s schools, are critical to prevent transmission of the virus in settings involving children and are our greatest tools to prevent covid-19,” the statement read.

Noymer acknowledged that summer camp likely requires children spend more time in proximity to one another than schools would, and also acknowledged that the children were not wearing masks -- something some schools say they will require children to do. But many skeptics of re-opening have pointed out that children likely will not be diligent mask-wearers or social distancers, so reopening plans that include those measures in theory may not include them in actuality.

“I don’t know if this is a game-changer in part because people seem to be doing what they want to do regardless. People who want to close schools will cite it, while people who want to keep schools open will claim overnight camps have far more contact,” Noymer said.

Authors of the report noted the study was limited by its data set, which didn’t include all the campers and therefore could be missing more related cases. In addition, since Georgia experienced a jump in covid-19 transmission over the summer, some campers may have caught the virus before arriving. The CDC report acknowledged it could not determine which campers did and did not adhere to recommendations for physical distancing, which also limits the kind of conclusions that can be drawn from the data.

Regardless this is where we are with Covid and kids. Not having symptoms, never exhibiting symptoms and then those who quickly show symptoms are all just pennies in a jar. They all touch each other and those who do not have the virus are either fucking lucky or have some strong immune systems. We know shit all about this disease.

I read the two most idiotic opinion essays, one in The Washington Post from some Harvard Scholars telling us the great unwashed about how to open the schools. Not Harvard of course no, but public K-12 schools which undoubtedly neither Gentleman has ever set foot in their lives. The other in The New York Times also largely reiterating the same bullshit script. I am unclear who these fuckwits are to think this is a good idea. So far the only parents loving this are the ones sending kids to a sleepaway camp in the middle of a pandemic and the same people getting hysterical over masks and their rights. These are the people who think we are free day care providers for their children and have no interest in anything scholastic, other than the magagzine of the same name at the Dentist's office. They are the reason we have discipline problems and other funding matters as they are also racist and fear busing. Again these are the average Americans who elected Trump or don't even care to vote. They are as stupid as they are as lazy.

Here is what American Teachers are doing across country, retiring and writing wills. Well that is a lesson plan right there!

School districts around the US are set to begin reopening in August, many with in-person classes, five days a week, despite coronavirus cases rising in many parts of the country.

But the school reopenings have teachers around the US fearful for the safety of themselves, students, staff and family members, with teachers and unions saying that proper protections and protocols have yet to be implemented.

Some teachers have even drawn up wills ahead of classes beginning, others have retired from the profession and teachers unions have said they will sanction strike action for members who deem that they are being forced to take potentially deadly risks.
School reopenings: what can the US learn from other countries' experiences?
Read more

“Educators are afraid because proper policies are not being put in place to protect them,” said Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association. The Oklahoma state board of education has only issued guidelines for school districts, and voted down a proposal on 23 July to issue a mask mandate in schools across the state.

“The OEA offers members through our personal legal services program a free will. The requests for those free wills are up over 3,000% in the last few weeks,” Priest added.

A report published by the Kaiser Family Foundation on 10 July found 1.47 million teachers in the US – some 24% of the profession – are at greater risk of serious illness if infected with coronavirus because they have conditions that make them vulnerable.

Yet Florida has issued an order mandating all schools must open in August in-person, five days a week. The Florida teachers union responded to the order with a lawsuit.

“We are letting the community down by pretending we can open safely. The districts cannot do what is necessary according to CDC guidelines,” said Stacy Rene Kennett, a kindergarten teacher in Immokalee, Florida, who is expected to begin attending in-person training for school reopenings on 4 August.

Amy Scott, an IB language arts high school teacher in Miami, Florida for 44 years, decided to retire one year early due to the coronavirus pandemic and the instability of the upcoming school year.

“I dreaded it. I wanted to extend it as long as possible because I love kids and teaching,” said Scott. “But then came coronavirus and I realized all the difficulties of holding brick-and-mortar classrooms and the danger involved to teachers, students and the community spread and I didn’t want to end my 45 years of teaching in such a frustrating environment.”

In Arizona, which was designated a global pandemic hotspot in early July, reopening decisions have been left to individual school districts.

“There is no consistency across the state,” said Marisol Garcia, a middle school teacher and parent in Phoenix who currently serves as vice-president of the Arizona Educators Association. “We are left to our own devices to figure out how to keep our families safe and ensure our students are safe”

Garcia explained current class loads in Arizona make social distancing impossible in districts where in-person learning is permitted, as she had no less than 31 students in each class last school year, and it remains unclear if any schools will face repercussions for not following guidelines for coronavirus protections. She also warns many of her colleagues may retire early.

In Georgia, state agencies have issued guidelines for school reopenings, deferring decisions to school districts on when and how schools reopen in the coming weeks.

Several school districts outside of metro areas in Georgia are reopening in August with in-person classes, five days a week, leaving teachers there concerned over safety protections as coronavirus case rates have been rising around the state over the past several weeks.

“We’re very concerned that when we’re once again in school buildings, children, educators, and their family members will become sick and perhaps die,” said Lisa Morgan, president of the Georgia Educators Association.

According to Morgan, several school districts in Georgia that are reopening in person, five days a week, are not following CDC guidelines, with no mask mandates, large classroom sizes making social distancing impossible, and responsibility for extra cleaning measures placed on teachers to carry out.

Even as schools are expected to reopen in the coming weeks around the US, school districts and teachers are scrambling to create plans for restarting schools, whether classes are conducted in person, virtually, or a hybrid of in-person and remote learning.

“The country is asking teachers and children to lead the way, yet no one seems to know what direction we’re headed,” said Angela McKeen, a high school science teacher in Clarksburg, West Virginia. “My concerns at this point are for my students. Can we prevent huge outbreaks? Can students effectively learn in such fluid situations? Can teachers effectively reach their students at not just their places academically, but also emotionally during this time?”

Teacher unions have raised the possibility of walking off the job unless comprehensive safety plans are implemented for schools to reopen.

The head of the Colorado Education Association recently said teachers may refuse to report to work as schools are set to reopen in the state in August if teachers’ criteria for school reopenings aren’t met.

The union cited a survey of nearly 10,000 members, where about eight out of 10 teachers asserted they would be willing to refuse to work if teachers aren’t provided a voice in how safety protocols are implemented, such as mask mandates and social distancing procedures.

“We don’t want schools to be epicenters of outbreak in our community. It would crush any student or staff member if they brought coronavirus into school,” said Ernest Garibay, a high school math teacher in Jefferson county, Colorado, and local union representative.

I like kids, their parents on the other hand.

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