As a senior last year, I lost many opportunities, and as a freshman in college, I am missing out even more. Even though I attend Robert Morris University, about 20 minutes outside of Pittsburgh, I have stayed involved and up to date on what is happening back home.

With that being said, I kindly am asking the parents to step down from all the protests and bashing of Frederick County Public Schools. You may know what is best for your child, but your child knows even more what is best for them. You cannot just think about your child, you need to think of all the staff members of Frederick County Public Schools as well as the Frederick County Health Department. You need to think about them, their health and their loved ones’ health.

As someone who has a parent that works within the school systems, and I have a close relationship with a lot of my past teachers, I know what they are going through, and how they feel. Yes, they want to see your children in person and want to work hands on with them as well, but now is not the time.

I know some teachers who have children with autoimmune system diseases. I have a nephew that was born prematurely by 12 weeks, and although his health is doing amazing, what would happen if my parent who works in the school system had contracted COVID-19, came home, and gave it to him? We do not know, because we have been fortunate enough that he has maintained his health.

I understand your children are having a rough time. Believe me, once COVID hit, my preexisting senioritis hit me harder than ever. I would wait until the last minute to turn in assignments, and I even had to write a history paper in one day about women’s suffrage. Thankfully, I finished it, but still.

I know it is hard for your children to not be in a public setting, but now is not the time. We are currently in another wave of COVID, and we have seen that schools all around the United States that opened on time, had to re-close due to the fact that they had students and staff contract the deadly virus. You also need to take into account that your child doesn’t tell you everything and that not everything is true. They could have told you “I did that assignment, it must not have gone through” or “ I didn’t understand because the connection was poor” or “I forgot. If I was in person, I wouldn’t have done it.”

Children lie. Believe me, we do not like getting in trouble, being yelled at by our parents or disappointing them, so we lie to try and make it better (even though it does not make anything better). You all were children before, and you all did the same thing that we do, just in a different way.

Even with sports, right now is not the time to be holding sporting events. The amount of contact is immense, and FCPS cannot force your child to get tested for COVID before they play or come to school. The crowds, the physical contact, everything is not going to help. I understand so many sports players are missing out. My younger brother, who is a senior and plays both football and lacrosse, has been bored out of his mind without playing the sports he loves.

My Division I college pushed our football season back until the spring. Why can’t a public high school system do the same? You have to understand the Board of Education is there to help your children, but also the staff and their family members. You need to remember that other people have families as well, and do not want to endanger their children, spouses, etc.

I know it is hard, and I know this year didn’t go as we all had hoped for, but please just take this time and think about how your child is still here, that your child is still healthy, and not many people can say that nowadays, because over 220,000 Americans have died. And although the cases are going down, we could see a spike at any moment.

Melanie Andrew was a member of the Catoctin High School class of 2020.

(14) comments

Crab0721

You should see the comments from the people who want schools to open up. They are ridiculous. You made good points in your article and it was very well written.

LoveOneAnother

It's remarkable to see a young person display the virtues of patience and prudence, virtues so many Americans have completely thrown to the wind. Everyone is "tired of the pandemic." I AM fearful for children who are left vulnerable to abuse without the social safety net of caring and observant school staff, and for those whose parents cannot work due to lack of childcare. But the argument about kids needing to interact with peers? If that's an argument, you have to wonder how all the children of pioneers, farmers, ranchers, and other isolated rural households through the MILLENNIA managed to survive their childhoods alone with *gasp* just their family members for company!

Thewheelone

No words from the "let's open up schools now" crowd? Well done, Ms. Andrews!

Piedmontgardener

Clear as a bell, articulate and persuasive writing. And such a finely developed sense of civic engagement. Thank you so much for writing this letter.

JoknowsFredrick

What an articulate message from a very impressive young lady.

HappySeller2014

This individual is what is right about FCPS schools. And compliments to her parents and the Catoctin community that cleary raised her right.

Very well-developed position, tone and insightfulness in this letter, Melanie. You clearly strike me, even though a fresman in college, as well beyond your years and more of an adult that some folks two or three times your age.

Best wishes to you Melanie as you continue your college career. I have no doubts the real world, and respected adults everywhere, will welcome you into the work world upon graduation.

Well spoken, Melanie. And well done.

JustACitizen

Wow! Conscience, thoughtfulness, and balanced insight. How refreshing and comforting to read.

DickD

Whew! That was long, but very good, Melanie

bosco

Not as long as some of the rants here, DickD, but a well-written letter. [thumbup][ninja]

yogib

Melanie's teachers should be so proud. Here is a young woman who displays more savvy than so many of Frederick parents who for some reason want to send their children and their teachers , bus drivers, food workers and custodian staff into a death defying situation. Thank you Melanie for your clarity.

huskycats

What a thoughtful insightful letter. Have you read it, Protesters?

threecents

While the number of cases in MD may be down, country-wide the case numbers are going up. According to the WP "America on Friday hit its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, recording at least 82,600 new infections and surpassing the previous record set during the summertime surge of cases across the Sun Belt.

And it’s not simply a matter of increased testing identifying more cases. Covid-19 hospitalizations increased in 38 states over the past week. The number of deaths nationally has crested above 1,000 in recent days."

bpswp

Kudos for this article and congrat's to the parents who raised a child with the ability to think critically and care for others.

MD1756

Ditto. [thumbup] to the writer.

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