By Okon Ekpenyong
City leaders in Central Ohio and the Biden Administration agreed that in-person learning was the right thing for students as the nation cannot continue to hide from the pandemic, but must rather find ways to work through it.
Franklin County Commissioner Erica Crawley, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, and Dr. Talisa Dixon, Columbus Public School Superintendent, were among the speakers at the Columbus Public Health to discuss the importance of in-person learning.
“Despite the challenges over the past two weeks, our entire district has stepped up every opportunity to support our students and fellow staff members. Everyone comes together to keep each other safe, whether covering classes, quick responses to maintenance issues, or delivery of additional PPE Materials for the classroom. We recognize the importance of being there for our fellow staff members and our CCS family”, Dr. Talisa Dixon said.
Throughout this pandemic, Republican and some Democratic lawmakers did not like the shutdown or virtual classrooms. They went as far as striking down any future proposed rulings that have something to do with the pandemic.
But as cases continue to increase, a group of students at Highland High School and Central High school in Saint Paul, Minnesota, walked out of school protesting to demand that the school administrators immediately switch to virtual learning because e of the rise of thcovid-19.
In the early days of virtual learning, many students struggled to adapt to new ways of retaining information, and some still have not recovered. Some students are better with hands-on, and yes, some are better when they pick up things virtually. Those were some of the few adjustments both students and educators were facing.
“As we move into our third year of this pandemic, unfortunately, no end in sight of the virus. We must do what we can to provide children with the support, stability, and tools they need to move through this pandemic,” Dr. Mysheika Roberts, Columbus Public Health Commissioner, said.
Many parents would agree with Dr. Roberts, including those who opposed virtual learning and any government shutdown, that such actions are no longer necessary because we have to find ways to work through it.
Dr. Roberts also added that the lack of in-person learning did increase mental illness across the spectrum; therefore, getting kids back to in-person learning and back to normalcy is all about prevention is better than cure.
“They need to feel like themselves and interact with their peers.”
“We are in a better place than we were since the pandemic started. We are not going back to lockdown, and we are not going back to closing schools because they should remain open. Because of the American rescue plans, we provided 130 billion dollars to help educators, school administrators, and students with the resources needed to keep their doors open”, President Biden said during his first anniversary as a President.
The Biden administration continues to push for the vaccine mandates to reduce fatality rates due to the coronavirus. However, the orders fail to proceed in almost all states’ supreme courts, stating that it should not be up to the government but rather an individual choice. Half of the country believes that striking down on such an order serves as a right to liberty. We should be asking whether we are providing enough resources to educators and working with them to ensure that the proper protocol is in place to keep these kids safe when they are in school.
“Regardless of your viewpoints on things, whether political considerations, liberals/conservatives, or right/left wings. We can all agree on three things, we all want to keep our kids in schools, keep the economy open, and don’t overwhelm our health system for our neighbors who are in need,” Mayor Ginther said.
Meanwhile, the CDC recommends that schools should stop some sports and recreational activities because of positive covid-19 results. As of January 19, 2021, Franklin County had over 1700 new cases, and to date, 261,393 total cases with 2065 deaths. There’ve been over 2,418,722 covid-19 cases and 31,245 deaths in Ohio.