As I have written before, it is too bad that some people in their 70s, 80s and 90s are dying prematurely from the Wuhan virus. But the manner in which we are devastating the lives of our young people, ostensibly in response to that illness, is a crime.
Across America, schools have shut down, largely at the instigation of far-left but deeply entrenched teachers’ unions. “Remote learning” has been a fiasco, even for the 70 percent or so who even pretend to participate in it. Our young people are isolated and, in far too many cases, depressed. Here in Minnesota, a state senator held an online event for parents in the local school district. One of those who participated posted this cri de coeur, which has gotten national attention.
I listened in on a zoom parents’ mtg with a MN (DFL) senator tonight. The topic was schools. I’m not going to name the district or the legislator; I was a guest and that’s their business.
The thing I will tell you: However bad/sad/depressing I thought it would be, it was worse
Let me start by saying, this is a wealthy district. Maybe one of the top 5 in the state. The parents are almost all white professionals. To be honest, I almost discounted it. I thought, They’re fine! I should be worrying about the families in real need.
Well, they’re not fine.
There were parents who said they’d never seen their kids dark or hopeless or unhappy – and I believe it, their suburb is the Shangri-La of Minnesota – til last year. They described girls who hid in their rooms and cried and boys falling so far behind they might never catch up.
Over and over, because these were nice people, they acknowledged how lucky they are. They said they have money for tutors and electronics and they’re worried about families that don’t.
I believed them. They were measuring their situation against people with less. With nothing.
Still. What surprised me is how money didn’t make this OK. These parents looked terrified. Two of the fathers cried; one turned off his video because he could not keep it together. Two of the mom had outbursts, and I couldn’t blame them. Everything they said was true.
They said our state is way behind not just the world but the country, that we’ve denied children a decent education for a full year. They said their kids are not at risk for Covid; they pointed out that teachers are less likely to be infected in the classroom than the community.
They talked about suicidal kids, their own and others. They talked about promising athletes who couldn’t play sports. They said their kids are being sacrificed.
Which is 100% true.
A teen who looked to be about 15 spoke. She was eloquent and dear and intensely respectful. She started sobbing halfway through and said she got to a place so dark she didn’t know if she’d get out.
So the senator was in a tough spot. She was gracious. She thanked everyone.
Then, oh my God, this is true. She talked about the tradeoffs and the fact that ‘other businesses’ also had to deal with shutdowns. Someone reminded her that school wasn’t supposed to be a business.
At this point she pivoted and for reasons I will never understand started talking about how she herself had to go to the Capitol because she was a public servant and there were “certain partisan senators” refusing to wear masks!
I screamed at this point. Luckily I was on mute.
She talked about variants and said twice that Mike Osterholm (our MN guy) was predicting a HUGE SURGE in cases in the next 6-14 weeks. She talked about how they were doing their best to keep everyone ‘safe.’
I want to be clear. She was in an unwinnable spot and probably has no control over teachers unions, but again and again the rhetoric was around safety and infection, variants, systems. There was never a moment when the veil slipped and reality got its due.
The parents were remarkably controlled. They thanked her for her time and said they understood and promised to stay in touch. I left the meeting and sat there and I had to remind myself that I’m not suffering the way they are. For a minute, the horror was so great I forgot.
I really feel, tonight, like there is no way to get the train of public education going again. Like we’re just deciding to throw away this generation of kids, like burned toast. There will be virtual committees and task forces assembled while they sit in their bedrooms alone.
My advice to every parent in MN tonight — and remember I’m raw and on edge and probably not in my calmest state — MOVE. Kids are going to in-person school in FL and TX and PA and MA. We’re one of the few places that is this broken. Go. I would. But tell @GovTimWalz when you do.
Emphasis added. Some states have followed the science, insisting that schools serve children regardless of bullying demands by teachers’ unions: Iowa, Arkansas, Texas, Florida, South Dakota. Maybe there are one or two others, as this woman suggests. But across most of America, as here in Minnesota, our younger generation is being sacrificed to politically-inspired covid mania and the greed and lust for power of the teachers’ unions.