The Welfare Of Students Is Paramount - And Response (3)

Thursday, August 13, 2020

This week the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association released a report, "Children and COVID-19," that states that there has currently been 380,174 total child COVID-19 cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic. There have been 179,990 new child cases reported from July 9 to Aug. 6 (200,184 to 380,174), a 90 percent increase in child cases over the last four weeks. As of this time, children represent a minor percentage of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, but the rate is rapidly accelerating in Southern and Western states. Tennessee has an unusually high proportion of cases in children which stands at over 16 percent.

Likewise, the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report concluded that Latin (eight times) and Black children (five times) are more likely to have COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations. As a counter-effect, some health ailments like multisystem inflammatory syndrome compound these medical conditions. Systemic inequities such as abject poverty; environmental justice issues such as proximity to toxic brownfields, clean air and water systems; adequate healthcare; food deserts and healthy eating; chronic conditions like asthma; and density that hinders social distancing and isolation are all contributing factors for these disparity levels. These are all variables policymakers should consider prior to the physical reopening of schools in addition to other key indicators. Safety, security and sustainability of students should be the most prime directive we engage in at this time for nothing is more paramount than the welfare of our children.  Many education groups across the nation are advocating for that basic fundamental right.

The Unity Group strongly supports the work and advocacy of the many educational groups who raised their collective voices in demanding the most safe and practical measures left available to us when considering the reopening of schools. We echo the recommendations released from groups like the Schott Foundation and Journey4Justice alliance in saying that our schools should have equity or else. Recommendations from that Aug. 3 day of action and subsequent report includes:

No reopening until the scientific data supports it
Police-free schools
All schools must be supported to function as community schools with adequate numbers of counselors and nurses and community/parent outreach workers
Safe conditions including lower class sizes, PPE, cleaning, testing, and other key protocols Equitable access to online learning
Support for our communities and families, including canceling rents and mortgages, a moratorium on evictions/foreclosures, providing direct cash assistance to those not able to work or who are unemployed, and other critical social needs
Moratorium on new charter or voucher programs and standardized testing
Massive infusion of federal money to support the reopening 
Inequitable access to online learning

It is incumbent upon this community to listen to medical professionals, science and data which should dictate our thinking processes. From the images we are seeing of school hallways where there is no social distancing and personal protective equipment, it is alarming. We are also highly concerned about the small cluster of outbreaks we have heard of across the region, from athletic teams to teachers who have contracted COVID-19. We should join the other major metropolitan regions in the state and delay reopening until we see a downward trajectory in the rate of transmission, number of cases, and hospitalizations. We also must be considerate to the fact of the many family members and caregivers who might be at risk because the likelihood of transmission will be greatly enhanced by school reopening. The public must also be fully engaged in these planning processes. The safety and welfare of students, teachers, and those who care for them is our greatest responsibility at this time, and we must act according to their best welfare.

Yours in abundance, Unity Group of Chattanooga
Sherman E. Matthews Jr., chairman
Eric Atkins, corresponding secretary

* * * 

Another left-wing Marxist group.  Writes hundreds of words of word salad about supposedly caring about the welfare of students and buried in the nonsense is this one line-  Police free schools. 

That's it for me. You lost all semblance of caring about the welfare of students or teachers.

Mark Maynor

* * *

Someone please explain to me what these demands have to do with coronavirus:

-Police-free schools
-Canceling rents and mortgages
-Direct cash assistance
-Moratorium on voucher programs
-Massive infusion of federal money

The Unity Group is just the new face of an age-old vice, envy; they would rather take what others have earned than earn for themselves. The only twist on the ancient theme is that they are despicable enough to use a worldwide health crisis as the pretext. Never mind that thousands have died; the real injustice is that there aren’t enough handouts.

Charles McCullough
East Ridge

* * *

Mr McCullough, in answer to your question, I submit the following:

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” (Rahm Emanuel)

This literally means “take advantage of people’s misery to get something politically you otherwise would never get in normal times.” This is why those demands appeared during a post on the coronavirus.

By the way Rahm, a Clinton toady and Democrat activist, is the former mayor of one of the most violent and dangerous cities in America - Chicago. During Mayor Emanuel’s time in office he closed half of the city’s mental health clinics, and he drastically raised the water and sewer fees. In 2018, the Chicago Tribune reported lead standards in 30 percent of Chicago homes were above federal standards, the biggest scandal in Chicago’s schools sent one superintendent to prison while students plummeted in literacy and dropout rates, teacher strikes and lawsuits were frequent and there were between 420 and 780 killings per year during his time in office.

Yes, Mayor Emanuel has left many ugly legacies including his desire to take advantage of people’s misery to get something he would never get on its own. Apparently locals have adopted this man’s philosophy.

Ralph Miller



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