Imagine if everything came to a screeching halt because of one death. While the deaths lost due to COVID-19 are tragic, each and every one of them, the country must march forward. Otherwise, the economy, education, healthcare, and everything else would come crashing down.
The Washington Teachers Union wants to use the death of one teacher as an excuse not to get back into the classroom.
In a complaint that the teachers union filed on Tuesday, they feel as though D.C. public schools have violated health protocols. Why? One teacher died from health complications following COVID-19. They believe that there wasn’t a safe environment.
The complaint specifically mentions Ballou STAY opportunity Academy. They failed to inform students that a teacher had tested positive and failed to tell the staff for 11 days.
Helen M. White was a cosmetology teacher at the school. She died due to health complications. It was after the passing of the teacher that the principal informed the school.
What the teacher’s union doesn’t want to acknowledge is that the teacher hadn’t been on campus since January 11.
There’s no way to know how the teacher had contracted COVID-19. It could have been at school or it could have been from a neighbor or through a visit to the grocery store. That’s the problem with the lack of tracking.
What happened to Mrs. White is tragic. No one should lose their life to COVID-19. However, if all of the DC schools close because they don’t feel as though they can offer a safe environment, what happens to the students?
The students will have to get taught virtually. It’s a substandard way of teaching because there are no hands-on lessons. Additionally, not all students have access to digital devices and the internet. Many will also fail to log in because parents leave the children at home while they go to work.
Around the country, students are going into the classrooms. While there are the occasional positive tests, it’s a small price to pay and a small risk to take to ensure that millions of students continue to receive a quality education.
The argument that the Washington Teachers Union is making is selfish. They conclude that because one teacher died, all schools should close immediately.
What if grocery stores and restaurants were to do that? All it would take is one cashier or stocker to get sick and a grocery store would close. Where would people get their groceries? Where would people go to get food?
Education is just as important as being able to buy groceries.
What if healthcare facilities closed because one doctor or nurse or orderly died because of COVID-19 complications? Hospitals don’t have the luxury of closing their doors because of a single death. They understand that death is tragic but that life must go on.
There needs to be a focus on the greater good.
There are 111 public schools in the District of Columbia. They’re responsible for serving over 47,000 students. And yet, the teacher’s union is ready to stop educating all of them.
Going virtual may or may not help to protect future teachers from dying of COVID-19. Just as Helen White died from complications, so could another. All it takes is for a teacher to go to the grocery store and fail to use sanitizer. All it takes is a principal to enjoy a block party in their neighborhood.
Closing the schools isn’t a guarantee that anyone is protected from the coronavirus.
The only thing that the teacher’s union will manage is to keep kids from getting a good education.
It’s tragic, but life goes on. Otherwise, every industry is in jeopardy of closing simply because one group chooses to be selfish. Mourn the loss, but please, keep the kids in school so they can get the education they need to become thriving, self-sufficient adults.