Mine børns helbred og skolegang er blevet et politisk statement. Jeg skal svare skolen på, om jeg vil sende mine børn tilbage, imens 150.000 amerikanere har mistet livet, pandemien er ude af kontrol, og ingen ved, hvordan smitten påvirker børn og deres familier…..
My children’s schooling is used as a political spin in the United States
My children’s health and schooling have become a political statement. I have to answer the school whether I want to send my children back while 150,000 Americans have lost their lives, the pandemic is out of control and no one knows how the infection affects children and their families.
We have been asked to decide what form of education we want for our children for the next school year. The school district where we live in the United States has given us and the parents of the 20,000 other students a deadline until Monday. In all, there are 54,000 school children in the Seattle area waiting to be told how to go to school for next year.
Our children have not been to school since the end of February, and the schools are now trying, in the light of the unpredictability of the corona, to figure out what the next school year should look like. We can choose between three models, our decision is binding: 1. 100 per cent. teaching at school, 2. a not more precisely specified hybrid model or 3. online schooling from home 100 per cent.
I make my decision for the coming school year in the USA here from Denmark. Not only am I half a globe away from my home and my American everyday life, I am also mentally far from the American everyday life I now only see on the TV screen. Here in Denmark no one wears masks, here people sit in cafes, here the children play with each other. Here, people seem as if the corona has nothing to do with them and their lives. This is how I hope it will continue to be, I fear the opposite when Danish families return home from holiday around Europe and send their children back to the Danish primary and lower secondary school.
Since when has children’s health and schooling become a political statement?
And what do you choose, given that covid-19 has gone from just under 90,000 deaths since mid-May to around 150,000 at the time of writing? What considerations are included in one’s choice?
There are the obvious arguments that the social and mental health of children is important. And that as a parent it is hard to be both an assistant teacher and a working parent. But there are also considerations as to whether it is not fair that the families who have the opportunity and the resources should keep their children at home, so that those who do not have the opportunity – e.g. nurses and doctors – can send their children to school. In this way, we all participate in solidarity, even if it is at the expense of our own children’s social and mental well-being.
So what do you do if you have a child with special needs? A child with ADHD , for example, who needs schematic predictability, who has difficulty focusing and learning in front of a screen? Corona is not good for anyone, not at all for those who have special needs and need a helping hand with learning. And what about the consideration of what it is for a school day that the children return to, if that is the option one chooses. Is a schooling with masks, plexiglass between the school desks, guards that ensure that you open and close the doors in the most hygienic way, wash your hands after toilet visits and play alone or two meters away in the schoolyard, more harmful than beneficial to children’s well-being ?
While our governor, Democrat Jay Inslee , focuses on science, numbers and statistics in his handling of the corona crisis , we see in the news how the Trump administration is doing everything it can to politicize the school debate.
According to them, the decision not to open schools in e.g. California a deliberately democratically led strategy to try to harm the economy. The argument is that when people stay at home, they spend no money, and then the economy stalls – and a bad economy has never benefited any incumbent president’s chance for re-election. I follow the press conferences of the White House, which Trump now holds without his medical experts, with growing wonder and unrest, and my Danish compass, which is otherwise usually socialized to rely on authorities, can not find head and tail in spin and sincerity. Therefore, the stress and stress heart beats faster and faster, all the while I struggle between wanting to know as many statistics, facts and research results as possible, while I feel like folding my arms around me and mine and closing the world outside my door.
The United States is the stronghold of the individualists, everyone has different needs and a flood of questions for the situation they are now in in relation to the coming school year and their pods schooling during the covid-19 pandemic.
One of the things I love about the United States is the ability to make a variety of free, individual choices – even when it comes to school choices and one’s children’s education. But in a situation like the one we are in now, where we have to stand together, turn our noses the same way and march in time, individualism is not exactly a landmark that works in America’s favor.
And when the choice is between fear of a disease on the one hand and the health of our children on the other, the choice is easy – no matter how political it may be.
(translated by Google tranlate)