On Wednesday, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer was joined by several others mayors from across California in calling for COVID-19 tests to be widely available for students in school. Faulconer and the others believe that this will help schools reopen sooner and safer, preventing medical and educational risks to students.
“Reopening schools and providing access to safe, in-person learning is a critical equity issue throughout our state but specifically for our most vulnerable students,” the letter reads. “We must prioritize in-school options for young students (K-6) who may struggle more with independent, online learning than older students.”
It comes as no surprise that the lockdowns are severely affecting poorer families in California, particularly those struggling to maintain a stable income and with limited access to technology. There is nothing compassionate about preventing working class Californians from earning an income and forcing their children to attempt to learn remotely for the first time in their lives.
While many parents may be concerned about their children returning to school, the COVID-19 tests and other safety measures will help to address those concerns. It may not be perfect, but perfection simply isn’t on the table. Every week that students are forced to continue remote learning is another week they fall behind, while also losing the fundamental development experiences that formulate them into adolescents. and eventually, adults.
It’s time to reopen our schools, businesses, churches, and every other integral component of our communities. Keeping things locked down may make some politicians feel accomplished, but it only harms those they ostensibly hope to help.