Less than a week and other thoughts

Important things first. Hey, I’m a writer. That means I need to blow my own horn on occasion. So consider this one of those occasions. A Magical Portent will be available for download next Tuesday. The print version will be available around that time, depending on how long it takes for the final files to work through the system. So if you haven’t ordered your copy yet, now’s the time. And now onto the “other thoughts”.

Something that’s been pretty much lost in the news surrounding the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the subsequent controversy over whether or not Trump should nominate her replacement before the election is the state of our schools in this Covid-stupid world.

Starting with the premise that Covid is real and it can be deadly, there are a few other things we need to admit. There comes a point in time when you have to weigh the cost of keeping the country shut down vs. the economic, education and psychological costs. We have long past reached that point but it seems too many of our communities and states are unwilling to make a firm decision.

I could go into the comments by experts in childhood development, in education and others who have been pointing out the damage keeping our schools closed does to our children. And, no, I’m not saying our public education system is the best place for our kids. Nor am I saying it should be done away with. The system is broken and Covid hasn’t helped it. But homeschooling isn’t an option for everyone and, frankly, not the best option for some students. But that’s another discussion for another day.

My concern right now is we are letting teachers call the shots over what the “experts”, the students, the parents and the communities want. When it comes time for budgets to be considered and raises to be handed out, teachers are quick to tell everyone how essential they are to our children’s lives. But now? Now they don’t want to be considered essential personnel. They don’t want to take responsibility for doing their jobs. How long before we start seeing flags and banners declaring “Teachers’ Lives Matter!”?

Yes, I’m being facetious but not by much. Just last night, the Fort Worth ISD school board met in what can only be called a marathon session. According to local media outlets, the meeting didn’t break up until 0400. It did vote down a proposal that would have postponed in-person classes resuming for another month. That would take us into November before our kids returned to school.

In a compromise, they voted to delay the opening two weeks. Some students might be able to return before then. But, basically, parents and kids are once again put in a lurch as the rules change and no one knows what will happen a few weeks down the road.

And guess who were the majority of those pressing to maintain online classes only and who wanted the kids to be able to at least choose if they could return to in-person learning? That’s right. Teachers want to keep the status quo. Parents and students, even the mayor and other public officials, said the time has come to allow parents and students the option of moving forward.

But teachers apparently know more about the dangers of in-person classes in this day of Covid.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m tired. I’m tired of being told we should follow the science when the science changes to meet the new demands of the political string-pullers and those who want to be in charge. I’m tired of watching friends and neighbors suffer because they are told their businesses can’t open. I’m tired of seeing parents have to choose between doing their work, work that brings in the salary to put food on the table and a roof over their heads, or making sure their kids do their “schoolwork” because schools aren’t open.

It is time for us to push forward and start fighting our way back to normal. Do not accept this so-called “new normal” as the way things have to be.

In other words, it is time for the local and state government to quit trying to be Big Brother and let us act like mature, thinking adults. Let us decide if we should wear a mask in public. If we choose not to and we wind up getting sick, we bear the responsibility. If someone gets sick because of us, that is our responsibility as well. But we will not recover as a society if we continue to trash our economy and we keep our schools closed.

Here’s the big question, and one the FW mayor alluded to when she took the school board president to task: if it is all right to attend a pro football game with your child, why is it not all right for that child to return to school?

Even more telling: if it is all right to march in so-called peaceful protests, why is it not all right to return to school or church?


  1. We have the same kind of teachers over here in the UK. With honourable exceptions many appear to be more interested in a minimal risk to themselves than they are in educating our children. As the son of teachers and school heads on both sidesof my family I’m ashamed at the current crop.

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