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Abbott is making mistake opening schools during fall

Abbott is making mistake opening schools during fall

Abbott is making mistake opening schools during fall
July 08
20:37 2020

Going back to school is something that many kids dread at some point during their academic career. Summer comes to a close, curfews begin to go into effect and the cheesiest back-to-school commercials promote another round of dealing with people you don’t like. Despite all of its boredom, going back to school isn’t something children should have to fear. Gov. Greg Abbott announced on June 18 that Texas public schools are going to reopen in the fall. Despite his attempts at reassuring the public that the lives of students, school teachers and other faculty members will be in safe hands, I’m not too sure about Abbott’s promise.

By law, students aren’t going to be required to wear face masks to attend classes. They won’t even have to test for COVID-19 and this is from the lips of Frank Ward, a spokesman for the Texas Educational Agency. This raises legitimate concerns because students are required to have vaccines and flu shots to be able to attend school, yet students get a pass to test for a virus that has currently infected over 150,000 Texas residents with a number of infections breaking records almost daily. This decision seems laughably unreasonable at best and a mistake that could cost thousands of lives at worst.

A testament to Abbott’s hypocrisy was on June 15 when he said younger people don’t take COVID-19 seriously, according to an article by Newsweek. Abbott claimed that people in their 20s were not sanitizing their hands, wearing masks or practicing social distancing which was why there was a continuing string of infections in Texas. Though a lot of younger people were going to beaches and pools in an attempt to resume summertime activities, Abbott’s remarks hold no true credibility as he didn’t enforce a mandatory lockdown statewide and opted for local governments to make their own decisions. Abbott had ambitions to end stay-at-home orders and be the first state to reopen businesses and ease back to normalcy.

On June 29, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins urged Abbott to enforce another “Stay at Home, Stay Safe” order for 30 days which led Abbott to claim Jenkins was attempting to keep the people in poverty. Taking Abbott’s leadership for example, how does he expect people to take COVID-19 seriously if he isn’t doing anything to properly lead by example? Abbott’s evident and powerful infatuation with the 10th largest economy in the world has led the governor’s judgment to be blinded. He is worried about the dollars, not the people and this is evident on his shifting the blame onto the youth.

With the growing amount of COVID-19 cases worldwide, what is it that Abbott is trying to accomplish by sending students back to school so early? High schools are highly populated buildings with virtually no space to practice social distance after class in the hallways. Younger students aren’t as concerned with personal hygiene, they’re going to want to be kids and play outside by touching every object they can. Even if a student keeps up with personal hygiene, Abbott’s lack of proper guidance in handling this situation can lead to a student doing their part by wearing a mask only to get infected by another student who didn’t practice safety guidelines.

This isn’t to say that the responsibility lies on the student, their usage of face masks and maintaining social distancing relies on the beliefs of their parents. Not all parents agree with their children using face masks because they don’t want their children to live in fear or let the government tell them what to do with their bodies. If that is how some parents believe, that is their opinion but it is a fact that they are endangering the lives of other parents’ children with this act of selfishness and an embarrassing lack of empathy.

This virus is not going anywhere despite the hopes of it potentially dying out in the summer and unfortunately, COVID-19 will bleed over to cooler months. It has made such a devastating impact in such a short amount of time, it’s hard to see this going out as quickly as it came. The lives of school students shouldn’t be jeopardized by a leader who has failed in his handling of the pandemic. Students should be able to take online classes through Zoom or other forms of virtual meetings to ensure their safety while pursuing their education. School isn’t something worth dying for. Abbott can separate students from one side of the building to the other, but all it takes is one infection for the entire system to fall apart.

Featured Illustration: Srinidhi Shukla

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Adrian Maldonado

Adrian Maldonado

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1 Comment

  1. CG
    CG July 09, 17:17

    Thank you for saying what too many aren’t!

    Reply to this comment

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