An open letter to State Governors & Legislatures (MD only)

Keep Maryland schools virtual

57 so far! Let’s get to 100 signers!

On Thursday, January 21st 2021, Governor Larry Hogan announced that he wanted schools to reopen for hybrid learning. He threatened every single county by saying “if school systems do not immediately begin a good faith effort to return to classrooms, we will explore every legal avenue at our disposal.” The very same day, a COVID-19 outbreak was reported at William Winchester Elementary School, along with 2 other school related outbreaks Carroll County. The state's own dashboard shows dozens and dozens of cases connected to schools across the state. In other states where schools were reopened, cases spread incredibly fast. The Corinth school district in Mississippi had to quarantine 115 people within the first week and a half of opening schools. You are already aware of the health impact on children, on their caregivers, not heir families and the staff needed to support in person learning. And the governor has made it abundantly clear the health of Maryland citizens is no longer important to him. So let's talk about the one thing he actually cares about: money. When a school has to shut down due to covid-19 exposure, how much does it cost the school to clean and disinfect? How much is it going to cost to support hospitals that are at maximum capacity in their ICU's? How much will families lose by having to scramble for childcare or miss work when their child's class is shut down from possible exposure? How much in hospital bills will end up in default because thousands and thousands of Maryland citizens can't afford the associated medical expenses? Why, when schools have been virtual for a full YEAR already, does anyone think that the final 3 months of the school year being in person will make a difference for kids that have been struggling with their work? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Keep schools across the state virtual for the remainder of the school year. When all school staff is vaccinated and the infection rates have dropped significantly, we can return to "normal" safely. We can offer after school and weekend and summer tutoring for children whose education has suffered during virtual learning. There are absolutely other options to address the problems with virtual learning while also keeping everyone as safe as possible. Shame on Governor Hogan for having the audacity to threaten schools with legal action for choosing safety during a pandemic. Your moral compass is broken, Governor.

First sent on January 27 by Rachel

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