California Doctors Call for Schools Reopening in February
A group of doctors from the state of California is calling for schools in the state to reopen, according to a letter they have signed.
Thirty University of California, San Francisco doctors have signed a letter urging state officials to reopen schools by Feb. 1. They added that prolonged school closures are causing social isolation among children and could tax their mental health and well-being, according to a One America News Network report.
The doctors noted that there is a major increase in emergency visits for mental health issues last year among the youth.
Dr. Jeanne Noble, Professor of Emergency Medicine at UCSF said that closing schools have real health effects, adding that it is not just saying that they cannot do this to help COVID numbers.
Noble added that this was harming the kids, not being able to go to class face-to-face.
ABC7 Special Correspondent and pediatrician Dr. Alok Patel agrees on the idea of school reopening, saying that it should be a priority and can be done safely.
"I think it's a fairytale to think distance learning works for every kid. It really comes down to a clear separation of have and have nots," Patel was quoted on a ABC7 News report.
Noble added that once schools reopen, desks should be spaced somewhere in the three-to-six-foot range.
The California doctor also added that windows and doors should remain open.
Noble said that if these precautions can be done, one can operate a school safely.
Resistance to Schools Reopening
Some states have already unveiled plans to reopen schools. Meanwhile, some have already reopened schools with resistances from educators.
In Chicago's case, they already opted to reopen their schools.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has explained that giving parents the choice to send their children to school in person is important to prevent some of the city's most poor and Black and Latino student from falling permanently behind, according to to The New York Times report.
However, teachers' unions are arguing that schools are not yet safe while there is still the threat of the pandemic.
Chaz Garcia with the Oakland Education Association said that maintaining safety protocols in schools is easier said than done.
Garcia said that they have some classrooms without windows and with doors that open to hallways and not outside. She added that there is a serious risk in those areas.
Chief executive of a school system that serves about 350,000 students, Janice K. Jackson, said that she was optimistic that most teachers would go to work.
Jackson warned that anyone who stayed home without permission would not be paid. This further raised the possibility of a clash with the union.
An economic professor at Brown University, Emily Oster, said that this is probably one of the most unpleasant reopenings, with how the two sides are interacting with one another.
Oster has collected data on coronavirus cases in schools. She has also argued that reopening schools is safe under many circumstances.
Many state leaders around the United States are increasingly pushing for schools to reopen as more teachers begin to gain access to the vaccine.
Teachers in Arizona started receiving shots last week. With this Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said that he expects students back in the classroom despite objections from top education officials, according to a U.S. News report.
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