Yes, I’m a bit of a broken record on this subject, but it’s hard to believe that we have just left an entire cohort of children to their own devices and have given up on providing them with a meaningful education. Lauren Fink is the latest to document how destructive school closures are for school-aged children, particularly the very children progressives and the Teachers unions pretend to care about the most.
“The outbreak challenges the resilience of vulnerable children as it increases in children’s environments the number of already existing risks . . . and reduces the number of protective forces,” states a report published in August by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. “The pandemic and the associated policy responses of confinement and social distancing touch on almost every part of children’s worlds.”
Right now, kids are more vulnerable to education loss, increased risk of family violence, loneliness, derailed trajectories including higher drop-out rates, depression, suicide, and increased attacks by online sexual predators.
The spring should have been the canary in the mine, exposing the sudden crippling of all in-person K–12 education as too dangerous to ever repeat. Just the educational losses alone — 15,000 students completely AWOL in Los Angeles, millions without high-speed Internet access at home, and those doing school online losing between three months and one year of learning — are unacceptable.
As Fink shows, many teachers are as distressed about these developments as parents are, and they want to be back in the classrooms. It can’t be easy for teachers to have to try and keep six-year old children engaged on iPads all day.
It’s true that the in-person experience for those children fortunate enough to be in school is not the same as normal. They have to wear masks all day except for short breaks, don’t really leave their seats very much, and have limited engagement with their peers. And yet, this is still several orders of magnitude superior to the alternative of virtual “learning.”
Some kids – especially older ones – do fine and maybe even thrive in the virtual setting, but they are not typical. Special education students are the most endangered by this setup, and some have basically lost an entire year – and maybe more – of development.
But hey, at least we kept the strip clubs open.