‘We Didn’t Go to Public School Just to Homeschool’: Kids and Parents Concerned With Effect Distance Learning Would Have on Students Protested Wednesday

Christian Lamb holds his sister Sadi on his back as they protest the extension of distance learning in the Eureka City School System.

Students and parents of Eureka High Schoolers demonstrated across the street from the Eureka City Schools District Offices Wednesday morning. [All photos by Mark McKenna]

A small group of students and parents protested on Wednesday, September 16 outside of the Eureka City Schools District Offices. They expressed frustration with restrictions put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 that keep students from the classroom. They were upset with the decision made the evening before by the Eureka City Schools Board of Trustees to continue distance learning through January 22 even though the schools in this County could go back as the County currently falls within the state’s parameters to allow in-person learning.

Students and parents, most wearing masks, said they felt like distance learning wasn’t providing them with the support they would get from being in classes with their peers and teachers.

Before the Special Meeting, Superintendent Fred Van Vleck offered this breakdown of the pros and cons of distance learning in a letter to the families of students.

He said,

The advantages to in-person learning are clear – it is much better for student learning and for their mental health. The disadvantages are many, and will be weighed against the advantages.

Some examples of disadvantages are:

  • Health and safety of students and staff.
  • Many students will be assigned to different teachers, as not all of our students will return to in-person learning.
  • There is potential students will have to quickly move back to distance learning.
  • As we move into the cold and flu season, there will likely be confusion between cold and flu symptoms and COVID symptoms.
  • The distance learning program for high school and middle school students who choose to stay on distance learning will not be as specialized, as we will likely shift to a web based learning platform not taught by a subject area specialist. In other words, a math class may be on a web-based program, not taught by a math teacher.

While children are believed to be at low risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID, many fear that gathering students together in a classroom might spread the disease first among students and vulnerable staff and then to more vulnerable populations such as elderly family members.

According to an article in the Scientific American, “[S]evere cases of coronavirus are rare among children, resulting in fewer hospitalizations and deaths.”

However, after initial success slowing the spread of the virus, Israel reopened its schools to in person instruction which many believe may have contributed to a second wave of infections. “Siegal Sadetzki, who resigned in frustration last month as Israel’s director of public health services, wrote that insufficient safety precautions in schools, as well as large gatherings like weddings, fueled a “significant portion” of second-wave infections,” wrote the New York Times.

Parents and students at the protest however, said they were more worried about the immediate danger to their education than the possibility of disease.



  • Well, the primary advantage of in person schools, is FREE baby sitting! Also, FREE breakfast and lunch!

    Kids need an active social life! An engaged interpersonal group to hang with!

    CoV-19? Hell, it WON’T kill aybody! You’ll see! And those TEACHERS? Ah, they WON’T get sick, and they get KILLER retirement! They owe it to OUR KIDS, to risk their lives for in-person education…

    What a bunch of whiny babies! Can’t you wait for the vaccine? (would you give your kids a vaccine?)

    When we can prevent or effectively treat CoV-19 maybe we can test the limits of how far in-person education will spread the infection. Until then, give it a rest!

    • Imagine worrying about paying for “free babysitting” when you have to go to work! Imagine trying to learn the academic constructs of modern education so you can help your kids with their school when there is no one to teach it to you in the first place. Or being a kid trying to learn when you don’t have friends to relieve the stress of adolescence.

      When did people who actually work become so disposable that their needs are irrelevant? Actually never because good luck with getting the vaccine manufactured by no one showing up to make it or clean the facilities or stock the grocery shelves or drive the packages you order to your safely isolated castle? It’s not all about you. Nor your certainty that the miracle vaccine will arrive before sanity has fled. Of course people will get sick. Duh. Whether it is now or a year from now whenever there the magic money created by other people’s labor has been all used up.

      • Let’s see, are those teachers and school support people disposable to the point where we should not protect them? How do you think distance learning works, anyway?

        All you need is a laptop, and some school systems are giving them to students for free, and, you need decent internet, which is a problem in some places… Try HughesNet or Exceed satellite internet, if you don’t have any.

        Teachers, administrators, counselors and therapists, doctors and nurses, all have evolved their services to the point where you can access services from the comfort and safety of your home. Try it!

        The social (?) part of school may have some import, but, many find the exprience of attending school to be traumatic! Should we ever have to go to a school at all?

        An evolving culture, evolving society, and evolving services are part of American reality. Try it, you probably won’t be comfortable with it, but, you will get used to it, sooner or later…

        The world isn’t going to change right away, and I agree, we will run out of “free money” if nobody is paying taxes! Remember, the current leaders of this country are conspiring to PAY YOU to vote for them! Think about it when you are spending your Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, your “Stimulus Payment”, and while your CARES Act money is being spent down at Jerold Phelps Hospital (they got about $5 million)…

        I also suspect that the vaccine will work, and when it’s been properly tested, it will increase the liklihood that more will survive exposure to this highly infectious virus… I also believe that the “Christian Mommies” shown here praying for open schools, will fail to vaccinate their children, since it’s another “Government Plot”, or some such crap…

        Namaste, Guest!

        • FUHS , zero cases , going on week number 7. That nasty flu that went through fortuna high last winter couldn’t have been covid, covid wasn’t around here til February, but is super contagious and other parts of the world had it in November, but no way we did, cause china is a good 18 hr flight away. It would take months to get here. Ridiculousness is Ridiculous . We can’t even track it now! But we could back in November, lmao

        • Back to the basic point that separates reality from fantasy- at this point in-person work builds the device at which you sit- the network, the power, the roads that bring the packages to your door, grows the food you eat, puts out the fire you inadvertently started, etc, etc, etc. So do teachers and staff deserve more protection than everyone else? Deserve is always a stupid word to use as justification but frankly, no they don’t. If every teacher disappeared tomorrow, the world might be a more difficult place eventually but the loss would not cause mass starvation, deaths, wars or a retreat into pre-history. As you point out, people not certified as teachers can -gasp- teach. However if every person who provides inperson labor disappeared, people would starve, get cold in winter, get sick even without sar cov 2 and suffer all the ills of a pretechnological society.

          In simple words, people can do without teachers but teachers can not do without everyone else. Despite their closed shop opinion, they are only indispensable because they ease parental burdens, allowing parents to be free to supply just about everything. So it would behoove teachers to face up to this reality and do their best to help. It)s not all about themselves.

          • Many North Coast schools are bringing in non-certificated help, and, leaning on retired substitutes for every role, because this issue is so divisive! No person should be forced to work in an unsafe environment, and, you have an attitude indicating your belief that teachers are being paid to do nothing!

            Lessons must be planned, the on-line class must be taught, materials must be disseminated, testing must occur! If anything, running distance education is more work, more trouble, much harder on staff than in-person!

            People are working, construction is happening, farming is full-tilt, outside of the happy green bubble that folks in Humboldt reside in, life is going on, albeit without health clubs, restaurants, hotel stays, trips to Hawaii etc…

            It’s private business that is suffering, not schools!

            I get that you want someone to watch your kids while you work, but, you will need to adjust in the short term, somehow, and be patient!

            As I recall, I went to school during the Asian Flu of 1956, the Hong Kong Flu, of 1968, worked healthcare in the H1N1 epidemic of 1986, survived the HIV outbreaks and all the rest, and Guest, it’s always something!

            Yes, the “mommy-state” has responded differently, but watching all those Skilled Nursing patients die had a measurable and marked effect!

            Bear with it, a bit longer, it will get better…

            • “Bear with it, a bit longer, it will get better…”

              Yes, Nov. 3rd to be exact. Things will magically get better and the disease will magically be not as deadly. Unless Trump wins that is, then it will require much stricter lock downs

        • Hughes net is more expensive than Exceed but I left Exceed because my internet connection kept going down and after a month of trying to get a repair person they still couldn’t give me a date for repairs.
          They don’t have enough repair personal.

    • Screwed sideways, You think school is babysitting? I thought teachers went to college to educate our kids? Please re-read what you just wrote so you can see the flaws in your thinking. Try to apply critical thinking skills and less emotional reaction and see what you come up with. I hope you are not a teacher.

      • And with all that teacher training we are 37th in education…hmm
        Turning out 8th graders that can’t read or write.

      • I am not a school employee, but I play one on TV…

        Obviously, you don’t appreciate sarcasm. I hope you are not a mother, but you appear to be as humorless as most moms…

        I hope you get a free babysitter soon…

    • Lets not forget that the education todays kids get in school is medieval, unnecessary and useless at best. Algebra, Geometry, Chemistry… this is all worthless in today’s world. What most kids learn at school is from their peers, and it is not very positive. They learn to be little assholes at school, they learn about bullying and “popularity”, they learn to be little groupies and to have “ego identification” with “stoners” or “jocks” or “preppies” or “emos” or “bisexuals and gays”. They learn about oxycotin and heroin, theu learn about cocaine and meth and pills and dope. They learn how to be good little robots and they learn about “good” and “bad”. Its a big babysitting gig so welfare people have a place to send their “welfare check kids” while the parents sit at home and play video games and watch tv on their couches on their asses. School is the number one reason our kids are having drug and crime problems. End medieval schooling, it is doing nothing but producing a generation of mindless brainless zombies

  • I love the picture of the guy in the trump sweatshirt with his mask not covering his nose , when will the idiocracy stop. Get a good look at these folks 98 percent look under 30 .Young folks put your phones down and help your children , no more afterwork bong hit sessions or weekend parties. Instead of standing on the sidewalk with your arms crossed grab a book and show your kids how it’s done.

    • Why pay teachers at all if it’s so easily done.

      • Amen! Either teaching is a legit job that deserves a raise constantly, or it’s just glorified babysitting. Which is it?

      • Not one teacher I know has said this is easy. They’ve said this is more difficult than year one for them. That being said, they would love to be back in the classroom, it simply is not feasible.

        Additionally, California didn’t pass the recent AB law that would protect schools from lawsuits regarding Covid, and the California Insurance Agency won’t cover them. If someone gets sick at Fortuna or Ferndale and the parent wants to sue, they can. That is a tough situation to ask school to be in.

      • Teachers should all be fired, they are the biggest waste of money in the USA and do our youth no good what so ever. Nothing but s bunch of government check taking morons set with power trips to bully and boss around our youth.

    • Well said!

    • Wow you really hit me with the no more afternoon bong hit sessions 🙁

      I do keep the weekend for working on the school work though.

  • I don’t know what you goofs are talking about. The teachers are doing great and my kids say the instruction is fine. The social piece sucks and no extracurricular activity sucks for them. I help with some work and most of the instructions are as clear as day. It is very difficult to make and find good curriculum. But the teachers are killing it.

    Of course the Trump voters are out there because they made this political. Once again, stop denying science, this thing will get more deadly in the coming months with flu. Pathetic seeing a 16-17 year old tricked by a tv show personality, who enjoys creating divide, [edit]

    • Replace the word white with another color, then try explaining how you’re not racist.

    • I saw a teacher on YT in tears trying to figure out how to set her class up so it would all work. 5th graders sitting in a plexiglass walled in desk. Recess at the desk, lunch at the desk, no before school socializing, no after school socializing. If the social aspect is not there, it is not there. These kids will be Ok at home, its the parents who will fail.

    • Connie Dobbs, scary comment. White trash? Not people? Seriously, those are excellent arguments! Where did you learn to debate, public school???

    • Regardless of your sarcasm, white trash is pretty rampant and it is not good to act like trash. But, once again, there is plenty of it in Humboldt County. It is like a trailer park reunion, with all the education of it as well.

  • 🕯🌳Its raining in Fortuna, maybe it will be enough to help the overworked firefighters saving our asses.

  • Yup. 200,000 dead. Now headed for 300,000.

  • If you want in school learning it’s incredibly simple to accomplish. Everyone just needs to sign their kids up for homeschool, not this halfway homeschool but full blown homeschool. The schools will lose revenue to the point that they will be forced to reconsider everything, I imagine it would only take a couple weeks before they were forced to listen to your demands, or close the school and to government only cares about revenue so it’s the loudest voice you have.

    • I agree with you! Everyone sign up for homeschool. Thennn just then we see how fast schools will open. Money 💴 over children is the game here. Be smart people.

    • Yes:)

    • so confirming that you have your seat belt fastened and your chair in the upright position is the new trigger for you wing nuts. and youtube is not a source for much other than how to videos and entertainment for Gen Zers.

      • The generation that will grow up and decide what to do about old folks who need care , or whether or not to hire 10 new teachers instead.

        (Bill Gates on Death Panels )

        • i can assure you that if you don’t give a fuck about them they won’t give a fuck about you. everything is cause and effect and everything is ying and yang. covid will in fact produce a bunch of dumb kids but it will be their parents fault.

          • Parents who cant believe what this Flu virus has done to a massive amount of working class people.

            Education got hijacked a very long time ago.

            37th in the world.

            So did our country.

            And now the health care system.

            26th in the world.

            Bring our manufacturing back

  • https://www.msn.com/en-ph/entertainment/celebrity/10-times-v-for-vendetta-predicted-2020-a-little-too-accurately/ar-BB15xxlz

    In V for Vendetta, a pandemic of the “St. Mary’s Virus” has decimated Europe and most likely the rest of the world, leading to a politically fragile climate that is not so different from the real world. St. Mary’s Virus was biologically engineered as a weapon by a political party to gain control, and while there are suspicions that the COVID-19 pandemic originated from a Chinese government lab instead of a wildlife wet market, those suspicions are still unconfirmed.

    • “Unconfimed”?

      Those suspicions were debunked.

    • Those suspicions have been soundly debunked. The virus has clear origins in bats, and remains in those populations today, before infecting an intermediary species, probably pangolins, that then moved largely unchanged into humans through the illegal wildlife market.

    • Nevertrustacop…I’ll start work on your tinfoil hat immediately. Try to keep it together until then.

  • The problem starts with Fred Van Vleck. Since he’s been superintendent we’ve seen so many times where he’s been involved in scandals and controversy. I don’t have reason to believe he has any kind of real concern about the teachers or students. Maybe if someone with actual leadership abilities along with care about more than the budget and his own salary was in charge things would be working a bit better.

  • I’m not sure what I find more amazing, the selfish stupidity I’m reading herE or the arrogance with which it’s displayed.
    Here’s a few fun facts; COVID-19 is real. There is no vaccine nor will there be one anytime soon. Distance and face covering is our best/only defense. Your nose is located on your face, cover it. The virus did not come from a lab in China. Face masks are not a liberal plot to damage your brain with a lack of oxygen, Fox noise has already done that. And finally, those are your children. Their care, feeding and education are your responsibility. That means when your state sponsored child care isn’t available you still have to care for your children. If that’s a problem, perhaps you might try a condom next time instead of bitching at the people trying to both educate your children and save their lives.

    • It’s not state sponsored it’s tax payer funded. So if you don’t want school give me my money back otherwise it’s theft.

    • It’s arrogance at its worst to designate one group to be protected and the rest are on their own. If grocery store clerks and medical care givers can face the dangers of a pandemic, then teachers should be able to figure out a way they can help. It’s not rocket science. Focusing on extreme ideas as a justification for selfish behavior is why the president you so despise got elected. It’s just not all about you and you don’t get to define everything to suit yourself. That there are other opinions and while you may have some of the truth of the matter, so do they.

    • “I’m not sure what I find more amazing, the selfish stupidity I’m reading herE or the arrogance with which it’s displayed.”

      That’s exactly what I said when I read your comment. So I guess a disease that kills, where the median age is 76 and children are almost completely immune, justifies shutting down the entire country even though the stated goal originally was to shut down only long enough as to not overwhelm the hospitals? Perhaps you need to turn on FOX noise and shut off the Communist News Network.

      And I guess it’s safe to go shopping, go get tires, go get booze or weed, go to a riot. It’s just not safe for teachers to teach. And I guess we should ignore the FACT that there is ZERO evidence that lockdowns work; guess they didn’t tell you that over on CNN.

      “The virus did not come from a lab in China.”

      Why don’t you enlighten us all since you’re not stupid or arrogant, where did it come from?

      • Sounds like someone has a bad case of republican stupidity going on..
        Let’s see here genius; by best reports the virus came from a wet market in Yunnan province where someone thought eating bats was cool. It made its way into the US via Europe and the east coast. After that self centered assholes who couldn’t be bothered to wear a mask managed to spread it across the country.
        Youal’ did such a fine job that 5% of the world’s population now accounts for over 20% of the recorded COVID-19 cases and almost 200,000 deaths.
        But I’m sure that’s no big deal to you since the dead children are “statistically insignificant “ as another resident genius was quick to point out.
        Statistically insignificant, unLess it’s your child.
        BTW, learn to type.

        • Wet Market, looks like you live In the 50s.

          The virus has been studied, Dr Francis Boyle, has stated from his research that it’s a gene edited mash-up of a minimum of 4 other viruses.

          CLASS 4 BIO WEAPON labs Arent Fantasy, AND THEY Are Creating THE NEXT Level Of Warfare Against Peaceful POPULATIONs, across the globe.

          The people are so divided and systematically broken down by economic, societal, political, environmental, and spiritual warfare, it’s nearly impossible to find a ,consensus that can challenge the organized mob of ultra wealthy and power hungry minions who will violate you 6 ways from Sunday….

          Because we put up with it.

          Game on.

    • Exactly.

    • You care to cite any sources?

      Covid isn’t just a biological weapon, given the fact that the Wuhan Lab boasted it’s use of nano technology, what we are honestly dealing with is tyrannical governments creating a new weapon to deal with freedom loving people all over the planet.

      This is absolutely class warfare, and masks will be hard pressed to stop an aersolized virus with gain of function and at least 4 other animal viruses, along with the HIV bullet added for cell wall permeability.

      If I was a billionaire who met with other billionaires, from around the world and was looking for a way to increase market viability for a product that is patented, and the future of biological reproductive
      Health will be controlled , much the way Google, Facebook, Twitter, is controlling information on their platforms and the mainstream news networks that will not engage in real journalism, just more political wildfires we are tired of breathing in 24/7.

      One thing is for certain, from lookin at the suppression around the world of simple people who do not want to prisoners in their homes, and work places, it seems that the police state is getting primed for an assault on our liberties, in the name of health and safety.

      Well fuck that.

  • imagine having 2 kids – 3yr and 5 mo, a wife who is a teacher, and a farm that has work to be done and bills to be paid. Let me tell you, it’s beyond hell. Then throw a surrounding wildfire. This is pure hell! These teachers have families and other things going on. For some reason distance learning has turned into a zooming 12hours a day for teachers. And they still have to make slide shows and everything else. Fuck This. It was a 6 week fix, and Americans have become so uneducated and corrupted it’s sad. Thank god I’m not on facebook or any of that other crap that brainwashed everyone for the past ten years!! Remember when you didn’t go around talking about who you vote for and it wasn’t a pissing contest?

    • How is working from home more time consuming than working from a school? That doesn’t make any sense.

      The Teacher’s Union actively PROTESTED reopening in Fortunate. You’re really reaching for something to complain about here.

    • Are you saying all inclusive remote learning is a lose-lose? Welcome to the world of always on call that has sucked the life of many workers since the 1980s.

    • This Guy is right, at least w.r.t. how it is in SoHum.

      Teachers must generate send home packets for everyone. Those packets must be capable of standing alone (providing all the information for students who can’t participate digitally). That is in itself a big job that is different than the one teachers have been required to do in the past.

      At the same time, teachers must provide digital support for students who can access it and want to use it. This is also a big job that is different than the one teachers have been required to do in the past.

  • Better just take away vehicles, they kill many people everyday and there is no vaccine for that. Better ban smoking, it kills many people a day and there is no vaccine for that. Better ban swimming, many people drown from it and there’s no vaccine for that. Better just ban people, they kill many people a day and there’s no vaccine for that. Better ban food, people choke on it and there’s no vaccine for that. I could go on and on, this might be a dangerous flu but it’s just that, can’t go on living behind a mask and a laptop forever it’s damaging peoples mental heath and suicide rates are way up due to it. Older people with underlying health issues should take extra precautions, let the rest of the world go back to living a normal life. If Costco and target can operate as they do then going back to school is not out of the question, have the kids wear masks at school and move the desks apart. I suspect it’s the school staff that doesn’t want to go back to work. If it’s really that bad then why are any business allowed to be open, they put random people around random people everyday . There’s more people in close proximity to other in these large protests that are going on then most schools entire population.

  • Voice your concerns for your child’s development and well being to the Superintendent of Eureka City Schools
    [email protected]

  • The teachers are doing the best they can under the circumstances. I don’t blame them in any way, I commend them. However, as a father of a student, this is NOT working. As far as teaching and babysitting my own kid, no problem. But he is missing out on socialization, learning to live and deal with others, in a societal setting. That is my concern. We have Hughes net, the max data that you can buy, and it is too slow for zoom. My son misses his friends, his social network. He misses being a kid since he is stuck with adults all day, isolated. The government is dumping all this money trying to conceal the homeless problem and bending covid rules for them, putting them up in places that they don’t appreciate or respect and trashing those hotels. We stayed at a homeless hotel while we were evacuated last week and my son almost stepped on a used needle right outside our door. They bring their trash and bugs into the rooms [edit] homeless is a choice , there are plenty of programs and support systems for these people. The kids don’t get to choose. We can go grocery shopping. Out to eat, and even Disneyland is set to re open, but o no can’t go to school.

  • So weird Trumpers continue to support trump when he is obviously the reason we have to do this social distancing. If he would have taken this pandemic seriously we wouldn’t be in this predicament. I have some ocean front property for sale In Idaho if you CULT loving trumpers are interested.

    • Yep

      This will go on and on and on until there’s a vaccine (hearing 2022) [edit]

      I am trying like hell to stay healthy, but having idiots without masks crowding me at the check-out to MOCK me…and get *then* pissed if I back the fuck off. I consider it assault! [edit]

      My brother died of Covid. He was 59. I live alone and cannot ‘hire’ someone to do what most adults in this country do to sustain themselves. I do not have minions. DJT gets tested everyday–so his masklessness is A-OK!! The people *around* DJT get tested everyday.

      None of us have that ability. Or could AFFORD to do that!

      Wear a fucking mask—this shit will never end until you do.

      ps you might want to explore the internet a bit beyond your usual sites–this virus is NEW, lots of UNKNOWNS but the info gets more reliable with the passage of time (and 200,000 excess deaths)

      Grow the fuck up.

      • No, stay home.

        The world will not stop for you, and masks are proving to be an unhealthy experiment for healthy people.

        Lawsuits will come because this thing is making independent businesses shutter, and people witt underlying health issues, need to understand that your health is not anyone else’s problem.

        Put a mask on, if you think it helps you.

        Go complain about labs all across the planet that do Frankenstein shit with viruses, and ask yourself why CLASS 4 BIO WEAPONS LABS NEED TO EXIST.

  • A great option is to send your students to St. Bernard. They have small class sizes, a solid facility, and the campus is a “closed” campus, unlike most if not all the other campuses in the County. This means your kid (student) is not allowed to leave campus during school time.

    St. Bernard is offering in-class instruction during these troubling times, and this is a very real issue with child, young adult development. All the professionals are saying that being in a classroom setting is far superior to not being in the classroom. The educational experience is better and social development extremely important for long term success after high school.

    • St. Bernards is a rundown shit hole, with wretched facilities and non-trained ‘teachers’. They have people running programs with no training and no credentials.

      It is exactly why these privileged kids go there, get straight A’s because their dad is a business owner, and then they can’t hack it at College of the Redwoods.

  • It is a parent’s responsibility to raise their children through rough times. Yes- home schooling sucks for many but if I hear one more redneck claim that the “government” is ruining her family I will scream. Working folks with school age children may have to pay for private daycare or a tutor just like they did when their kids were babies and there are multiple programs available right now that can subsidize daycare for folks who do not exceed the income threshold. Pandemics suck and you can try denying we are in the middle of a pandemic until it is one of your family members that becomes ill. Denial and blaming government officials isn’t going to solve anyone’s miserable family dynamics.

    • Aren’t the people playing this up as more dangerous than it is the real “deniers”?

      Maybe it’s easy when you are the “Queenbee”. Let them eat grass?

    • Queen bee, your comment is demoralizing to parents of special needs children. Imagine being in the shoes of a mom with a nonverbal autistic child.

    • Thank you for having some sense. It is the same folks that say Trump is a savior and they’ll start a civil war if Trump isn’t reelected. Idiots. But, the government ruined their life apparently.

    • Redneck? I see…..

    • In my 1911 I trust

      This school year was already bought and paid for with our taxes. Thats the issue in a nutshell. We paid up front for a service that is not being provided. Refund the money and you will never hear a peep about the school issue from me.

  • What about kids with special needs?
    Changing tides laid off respite workers
    Regular babysitters cant deal with kids who have disabilities. What about working single moms who cant collect the EDD? Unsupervised and falling through the cracks, these families are suffering.

  • Folks arguing above are comparing “apples to oranges” when it comes to the risk of infection when teaching face-to-face in an enclosed classroom for hours at a time versus other types of jobs where the contact is short-lived and in a larger space.

    I get that people want to go back to normal. As an instructor I know that my job would be a lot easier doing traditional instruction than this current model, at least the first time through. But I also know that it’s forcing me to adapt in ways that are benefiting my students while trying to manage risk.

    I’ve been teaching for 25 years now and I frequently end up with cold or flu infections from my students because of the environment of a classroom and students who come to class sick because they don’t want to miss anything despite me repeatedly telling them to stay home if they feel like they have something infectious.

    If I was forced back into a traditional classroom setting right now with the prevalence of COVID in the community and knowing how easily it is spread, I’d simply retire and I suspect a lot of teachers in a similar place would (and have).

    While many of you will probably just say “good riddance” it does mean there’s an exodus of talent and experience that isn’t easily replaced on short notice. The replacements might not be as good as you’d hope for right out of the box. Something to keep in mind with all the clamor for immediate resumption of “normal”.

    • Yes, an exodus of talent , followed by the new normal, dressed as the old.

      Imagine when our children will actually demand to be neural linked.

      Incremental but steady progress towards the introduction to the control of all biology.

      • Absolutely, the internet is a neurolink. Want a smart intelligent kid? Put a phone in their hands as soon as they can read. Teachers are obsolute except for the parents who dont know how to raise and teach their kids. Many kids are just another welfare check for their parents. People will have less kids if the government doesnt pay teachers to raise them. People need to raise and teach their own kids. Lazy parents raise lazy kids

    • Thank you Psy Aunts!

    • So the employees of Costco and target aren’t being exposed to this situation, movie theatres reopened too. Just like I said , the teachers don’t want to go back to work, good thing our fireman, ambulance drivers, hospital staff and police men don’t take the same cop out.

      • As I clearly pointed out, those are different work environments with very different exposure rates and different risk management strategies.

        Costco and Target are big spaces where interactions are momentary. As long as everyone is masked and the place isn’t crowded, the risk is manageable. Even so, I don’t go to either of those places specifically because I don’t have to. I didn’t like going to movie theaters all that much to begin with and haven’t been in one in well over a decade. Even so, the employees aren’t in continuous contact with the moviegoers although the patrons themselves are placing themselves at risk.

        The first-responders are at higher risk which is why they have the higher PPE and sanitation. Even so, a lot of them have gotten sick and nationally, quite a few have died. They too try to minimize exposure and risk even if they are more acutely aware of the problem.

        Lastly, I don’t think you really get the idea that “teachers don’t want to go back to work” is just simple bullshit. We’re working a lot harder now that if we were able to do our traditional teaching. We’re just doing it remotely rather than in a classroom where the risk of making the pandemic worse will be higher.

        • The risk to a Costco or target employee is definitely higher then the risk to a teacher. They are exposed to hundreds of people that have been exposing themselves to others daily. The if I have to go back to work I’ll quit is definitely a cop out and it’s being used by teachers as a leverage against the school board to keep schools closed. Try that as a Costco employee and they would say see ya

          • The risk retail employees is not higher than that for teachers according to all the reports I could find. That’s because risk increases with close contact for more than 15 minutes which describes medical professionals, first-responders, and teachers, particularly kindergarten and elementary school teachers but not for retail employees who only spend a minute or 2 at most and often not in close proximity. Yes they get exposed to more people but as long as it’s in passing with folks wearing masks, the risk is modest. Teachers would be spending hours every day in close contact with students who are also interacting with a lot of other people (family members, friends, etc.) outside the classroom.

            And again, teachers are not saying they won’t go back to work, they ARE working right now. Many are however justifiably expressing their concerns about re-entering a higher-risk environment when there are reasonable alternatives like online education.

            • Sigh,

              What do you think about the situation in SoHum where a large percentage of kids have no access? Do you (in your situation) have to support students you can never speak with? I see a huge equity problem.

              • There is a huge equity problem and it won’t be easy to solve in rural areas of the county where access to technology is limited because of household financial or community infrastructure reasons. That’s one of the places where I’d put an extra push of resources to help address.

                I do have students in my classes who are over on the Hoopa reservation that I don’t get to see in person (most I do since I teach hybrid courses) and it is a challenge trying to find alternatives that provide quality educational outcomes. So far we’ve been able to work things out through a bit of experimentation and trying stuff that sometimes doesn’t work but sometimes works well. As I’ve written elsewhere, we are all trying to figure out the best way to navigate this as we go.

                But one thing I do want to make clear, I am now reaching some students who would’ve never made it to my face-to-face classes because of the commute. I consider that a win that I wouldn’t have had if everything had continued as usual.

    • Sigh Ants…Thank you for that intelligent reply.

  • Kids still having big Keggers unmasked at the beach. Fortuna, EHS, and St B kids there. Amazing and no SCAMDEMIC issues.
    Quit treating our kids like a bunch of Ryan Whites.

  • Schools are germ factories. I have worked in various schools, in various places and never fail, I get quite sick at least once every year. I’m well too, with a decent immune system. Aside from that, bringing kids into pods or small classrooms means that we need to trust the families of those around us and with folks denying Tue reality of Covid, that’s not something we should be doing.
    Rather than focusing on the fault of schools and their boards, we should look at the federal government and cast blame for not providing families/parents/communities with adequate resources to weather this pandemic. Where is the outrage there? Where is the outrage that, largely in part to not shouldering a fair tax burden, Bezos has made more profit than ever before during the past 6 or so months? Such money could be used to support or struggling communities.

  • California coming in 37th in education suggests enrolling your children in home schooling such as the accredited Khan Academy if possible just might benefit your child the most.
    At the $30,000 spent per child now spent, If that money followed your child you could hire a quality sitter or perhaps even a teacher for supervision as the Khan Academy is free.

    A parent with 2 children would have $60,000 for child care.

    Our ed system is broken and we can have choices if we demand and vote for them. Perhaps “normal” is exactly what we don’t need.

    Given 10 months to plan for opening schools, Ca. can’t even accomplish that.

    Help taxpayers and children, Vote school choice.

  • I’ve never experienced so much of the worst of humanity before I married a teacher. Teachers are undervalued, insulted, disrespected, and put at risk on a NORMAL day. Don’t ask them to put their lives and the lives of their family members at risk. Society doesn’t pay them enough or (more importantly) respect them enough to ask such a profound thing. Stop acting like it’s the responsibility of schools to teach your children something — do it your damn self! Stop acting like there is any way to make the 20-21 school year normal, sometimes we are powerless in the flow of events. Let’s minimize the damage instead of stubbornly demanding that everything be normal — IT ISN’T NORMAL and nobody can make it that way. Be NICE, be SMART, and stop asking others to do anything that you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself.

    • It is actually the responsibility of schools to teach children.

      What do you think they are for?

      Btw, kids respect people they know care for them and who respect them as individuals.

    • I was a single parent of 3 children. Their Dad rarely came around. I worked a full time job, plus a part time job & STILL made time to help my kids with their homework. Parents are lazy these days & need to step it up. They want to blame the teachers for their kids failing, when they should take a look in the mirror. I have grandkids doing distance learning & they are doing incredibly well with it, because their parents are involved & make the time after work to help them when needed. The teachers I know are putting in a ton more work than they did when school was in person. Step it up parents & quit using school for a babysitter.

  • So, to recap the past 20 years. Americancers

    * Terror bombed and murdered – that is to say “made the ultimate sacrifice of” ~300,000 (“conservative” estimate/fabrication – more like 1,000,000 guise) mostly women and children in a war of vengeance to make Iraqis and Afghanis pay for a crime committed by 19 Saudis and an Egyptian who apparently made a wrong turn at Mecca and ended up on a one way flight to destiny

    * Screeched hysterically about “Death panels” at the mere suggestion of a people focused, rather than profit-focused healthcare system.

    * Can’t even wear a mask to stop the spread of a virus that has already taken the lives of ~200,000 Americancers – or roughly 63 9/11 events.

  • @ Kym,

    This article maybe should be tagged for the Covid section?

    Couldn’t find it there..

  • I’ve been to China. Taiwan. Mexico. And I’m going to all stores around all you. You all are crazy and losing out on life. I feel really sorry for the kids. No sports social life I think all teachers who won’t show to work be fired immediately. We can and will replace them. Schools need to immediately be opened. If you can go to Walmart or Disney land schools should be opened. This is all the democrats fault. And trump will win and I can only imagine what the freaks will do next

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