My family is puzzled and dismayed by the Frederick County school board's cowardly and shameful decision to prohibit in-person education this fall in contradiction to the strong recommendations for in-person schooling by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Education.
Some reasons are the negative effects and risks of home stay including poor distance learning results, reduced educational attainment, reduced access to nutrition as well as skyrocketing anxiety, depression and suicidality. Our children are now to lose important socialization, extracurriculars and physical fitness for an entire year. This will be especially pronounced for minority, low income and special needs students.
The negatives of forced home schooling far outweigh benefits; scientifically, COVID-19 represents a very low risk to youth with magnitudes lower mortality than for influenza, suicide, cancer and drowning. Teacher and staff risk is mitigatable with simple preventive measures, a low Frederick County case rate and 2.9 percent test positivity.
By all objective measures, schools should open. We have five children; one of whom has special needs. Home-based schooling will be a full-time job for us and we are left adrift wondering how to replace what school will no longer provide. One year locked in home time out! Perhaps FCPS should refund some of our tax dollars?