I certainly hope not.
Two things on my mind:
* this is a pandemic
** separate is not equal
Schools around here will be online. That sucks for learning and for socialization and for routine building and for sanity. It sucks for families needing routines and interactions with fellow humans. It is necessary because this is a crisis. We Don’t have other good options to keep us safe. This is life during a strange time with an asinine president and a horrible virus. We, as a country, were unsuccessful in reducing the spread and now we have an even bigger problem than we had earlier this year. (Wear a mask! Avoid people, especially inside. Don’t go to group settings.) The majority of our children will bounce back from this year of less than optimal schooling. (I know because many children including mine have missed school for years due to hospitalizations and turnedInto wonderful adults.) Our lives may be forever changed by Covid 19- losing family members and neighbors and faith in our government. And yet most of our children will flourish in the long run.
**And separate is not equal.
We learned this in special education PL94-142
and we learned this in the most basic of civil rights lessons given in Southern schools. Like wasn’t it a week ago, this was in the forefront of our minds? Black Lives Matter! And now that schools are digital- it appears to be every parent out for themselves.
But Karen wants to know “How can I make sure my white typically developing child keeps up?”
Somehow the answer is pods or micro learning groups- trying to hire teachers at babysitting rates.
We can’t recreate schools at home. We can’t keep up with the Jones during a pandemic. This is a year of living out our values. We won’t be normal. We can’t fix this.
Does your pod include people with disabilities?
Does your pod include people who are not the same color as you?
Do y’all all live in the same neighborhood so your pod can conveniently convene?
Do y’all have relatively the same income level?
Do y’all love the idea of widening the gap for children who already were set up to fail?
A lot of pods are based on neighborhoods and parent peer groups- and I am very concerned that this will be another glaring example of the haves and the have nots.
We just freaking protested! We just chanted for justice! Insisted on equality. We put black squares on our Instagram pages. And now what? What is your goal? What will your pod accomplish? What will your insistence on setting up enrichment for your own children do for the world?
When you silenced yourself on a Tuesday in June to learn about Black Lives Matter. did you learn about systemic racism and then decide a week later that it isn’t your problem?
A few months ago, teachers were heroes.
The offers of wine and raised salaries and Oprah like teacher appreciation weeks are erased from our consciousness. Schools have to open! Put the teachers on the front lines- not that many will die.
Children deserve lunch and love and shelter and safety. Is this the job of teachers? Yes- we love to give children opportunities, love, and security. But we have to share these jobs. We can’t put the safety of a generation on the backs of underpaid and overworked teachers. Government, communities and all of us, need to rise up and change our lifestyles to expand choices for people who have been marginalized for children who have been forgotten for the sweet innocent lives in cages. If your vote for leaders depends on the money coming into your pocket, this is what you get. The world does not turn by money. The world needs compassion and intellect and peace. Do good and let it hurt a little. You will be ok.
A week ago, we stood in solidarity with Black people. And now what?
Was all that protesting and learning about racism too hard? Are you already finished? There it is. That mysterious white privilege you are mulling over. You can walk away in your whiteness, in your neurotypical brains, in your capitalism, in your superiority, in your helicopter parenting. I’m angry. I’m frustrated and you quit already. What you were only in the fire for like a month and you already walked away with your vindicated justifications. “Just doing what is best for my children.”
When life gets hard,
When it is not convenient
When it involves personal sacrifice
How will we act? How can we do our part to insure that the divide does not grow? How can we raise each other up during our own low times?
When we all do better, we all do better.
Some people have the ability and the privilege to escape or at least attempt to escape the effects of this pandemic- this national crisis. But what is needed? Am I my brother’s keeper? What do I expect from myself? I thought we saw eye to eye for a moment. The disappointment can be crushing. Betrayal is so sickening. The needs of the children of the world are overwhelming and diving in to the injustice is hard. Fucking hard and depressing and fraught. And if you quit who will help?
P.S. to the People without disposable income, to those living without a closet full of toilet paper, Lysol and WiFi, to the single parents who have to put food on the table, I see you. I understand the need for children and families to have security. I’m not judging your need for childcare! I’m mad That our world does not hold you in the highest esteem! But you already know that life rarely is fair. Humans rarely get what we deserve even when we work harder than Satan. And Black children, children with disabilities, children in poverty are all too often given less. Separate is not equal. It is a fucking pandemic. Help each other.