LAUSD 2020-21 School Reopening Plan: Child Prison
LAUSD 2020-21 School Reopening Plan: Child Prison
Back in mid-March schools were summarily shut-down with little notice. With Wuhan coronavirus fast disappearing, sending students back to school looms on the horizon. Today Los Angeles USD, the largest school district in the nation with over 730,000 students, released their “reopening guidelines” – a 43 page tome of dense bureaucratise. It’s not pretty.
Sixteen students to a class. One-way hallways. Students lunch at their desks. Children could get one ball to play with — alone. Masks are required. A staggered school day brings on new schedules to juggle. […]
The safe reopening of schools in California and throughout the nation compels the reimagining — or abandoning — of long-held traditions and goals of the American school day, where play time, socialization and hands-on support have long been essential to the learning equation in everything from science labs and team sports to recess and group work.
Oh? Really? Compels?
What would a day look like for a, say, 8 year-old in the third grade? Get up in the morning and your parents take your temperature (schools are to encourage parents to do daily health screenings). Your arrival time at school is within a strict time window and through a monitored entrance so you can’t stop and chat with any friends. Hallways are now marked “one way” so you now are directed on a circuitous route to your classroom. It’s a pretty sparse room – only 16 desks spaced 6 feet apart. To help you remember, the floor is taped off to make sure you stay centered in your space, facing forward. You notice the bookshelves are empty as all shared reading material has been removed. The reading circle is gone. All the puzzles, art supplies and other things your teacher used to bring in so you could have something else to do if you finished your work early are gone, too.
The mask you had to put on when you got out of the car itches and your teacher scolds you for touching your face, makes you get up to go the sink to wash your hands beneath a large poster showing you the proper way to do it. Back at your seat you miss some of what your teacher is saying when she calls on you because she’s speaking through a mask. You want to ask her to say it again but can’t tell if she is happy or angry because all you can see is her eyes. Saved by the bell, your class is lead out (maintaining the 6 feet!) to the play yard. But you can’t use the swings or jungle gym or play with your friends. You must learn to …
“That is a big challenge because our nature is to play together and the socialization is so important at that age,” said Cerritos Principal Perla Chavez-Fritz. “Maybe hula hoops and things that the students can play together alone.”
… stay in your 6 foot square and bounce a ball for yourself.
End of recess and you’re all taken to the restroom and monitored to make sure you’ve all washed your hands correctly. There’s now plexiglass partitions between the sinks so with your mask and the partitions even a quick “hi” to your friend is impossible. Indeed, you’re not allowed to excuse yourself and go to the restroom during class without someone to properly monitor you.
When lunchtime comes you have to stay at your desk in your classroom. Your best friend is two rows ahead of you so you can’t say anything to her without the whole class hearing. You eat your lunch in silence, even eating the things you had asked your mom to pack because you wanted to trade with your friend. Sharing of food is forbidden and will get you sent to the principal’s office.
One more round of “playing together alone”, then back to class. You can only use your assigned supplies bagged at your desk and discover you don’t have a green crayon. The student to your left has two but he’s not allowed to give you one.
The end of the school day finally comes. Classes are released in a staggered schedule, you follow the one-way floor markings (no stopping to chat with friends allowed!) to wait for your mom to pick you up. No one sees how sad you are behind the mask you’ve worn all day.
Even felons in state prison have library books and exercise equipment.
Why yes, the “guidelines” for Los Angeles Unified Prison District do have a disclaimer that This frame work is not intended as a directive but who honestly believes that if any one of LAUSD schools says “hell no, we aren’t putting 6-year-olds in masks for six hours a day!” they will be allowed to opt out?
This isn’t science regardless of the bloviating …
“Our main priority is health and safety,” said Debra Duardo, the superintendent for the L.A. County Office of Education, which provides services and financial oversight for the county’s 80 school systems. “Unfortunately some of the things that children could enjoy in the past, they’re not going to be able to do that.”
… by a $301K/year bureaucrat. Children are at a lower risk for the Peking Pox than any other demographic.
But breaking children of their spirit, their individuality, even the bonds they form with friends, is something long part of certain educators’ agenda. Indeed, parental choice is something loathed with a passion by professional educrats who would ban charter schools and homeschooling in a heartbeat as covered by VG Deanna Fisher here.
Parents have been homeschooling their children, to greater or lesser success, for two and a half months. Hopefully they’ve reached out to other parents to share tips and resources. As these child prison guidelines are rolled out across the nation – as I believe they will given the influence of large districts like LAUSD – those connections need to be expanded and strengthened. Nothing talks like money and if parents refuse to send their kids back to public schools under these conditions, the districts will have to pay attention. Also, homeschooling offers a lot of resources and referrals so children will get the outside activities (sports, field trips, etc) that will no longer exist at public schools under prison guidelines.
Healthy adults are now finally releasing themselves from house arrest. They should be careful not to allow it to continue for their own children at what amounts to as child prison.
UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers!
featured image, cropped, Adobe Stock, standard license