When I woke up this morning, the temperature outside was two degrees below zero here in upstate New York. It’s much the same over most of the northeast, as an arctic air mass settles in over the region. A quick check with the National Weather Service indicates that it was four degrees in Boston at the time of this writing. Students in Boston’s public schools had better cross their fingers and hope that it warms up significantly before they return to class on Tuesday, or they’re going to be in for a very uncomfortable day of learning. (At least for those whose schools are actually open for in-person learning, that is.) The reason is that all of the public schools in Boston are required by a school board mandate to leave the windows in the classrooms cracked open. In January. Parents are already complaining that they’re having to bundle their kids up in multiple layers of clothing just to get them through the day. The COVID madness is strong with this city, folks. (National Review)
Parents have been forced to send their children to school dressed in multiple layers of winter clothing because of a Boston Public Schools mandate that windows be kept open 4 inches to mitigate the spread of Covid.
“Good morning families,” one school wrote in a letter to parents first reported by the Boston Herald. “It is still very cold. Remember the windows in our classrooms have to be open. I suggest layering your child’s clothes (2 pairs of pants, 2 shirts and a sweater, 2 pairs of socks, etc. (Plus all their outerwear (hat, glove, scarf, etc.).”
The policy has triggered outrage from some parents, who see the abundance of Covid caution to the point that kids are freezing in class as a hindrance to learning.
Calling this a “hindrance to learning” is putting it mildly. How is anyone supposed to concentrate and focus on the course material when they are shivering? Are student expected to operate laptops and other digital learning devices while wearing mittens?
The school district has heard the complaints and responded by saying that they would turn up the thermostats to 76 degrees, further driving up heating costs at a time when energy prices are spiking. But they are not relenting on the window mandate.
Someone needs to get in front of the school boards and ask the obvious question. All of these schools had new air filtration systems installed during the shutdown period, a highly expensive process undertaken at taxpayer expense. Why on earth would you need to leave the windows open after implementing those upgrades? It just seems as if they are increasing the chances of having some COVID float in through the windows from someone walking by outside.
It’s not just Boston where this sort of pandemic panic-driven madness is showing up. Schools around the country are imposing all manner of rules, largely without the benefit of appropriate professionals providing guidance. It was enough for even David Leonhardt of the New York Times to declare that COVID school restrictions “are destroying our children.”
Learning loss, behavioral problems, mental health issues, and even suicide have been on the rise among children. Much of that has been driven by the length of time that students were forced to attend school “virtually” from home. But even the ones who are finally being allowed back into the classroom are being confronted by bizarre and frequently nonsensical rules. And is it any wonder? When children see their parents and teachers acting in a calm, rational fashion, carefully explaining why a few changes need to be made for safety’s sake, they will (mostly) handle it pretty well. But when kids see the adults panicking and running around like chickens with their heads cut off, they’re going to believe that doom is upon them and respond accordingly.
Pandemic panic porn may have sounded like a good idea politically to some democrats at the beginning of this debacle, but it really shouldn’t at this point. Mayors and City Council members in blue cities are now finding themselves in a battle with the teachers’ unions over the questions of reopening the schools and returning the kids to some sense of normalcy. If this situation isn’t worked out quickly, we’re going to lose a generation of kids who will be off to a very rocky start in life and it’s going to be the fault of the labor unions for the most part.