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Letters to the Editor: Reopening schools only in low-income areas of L.A. County makes no sense

A classroom in the age of COVID-19?
Bradley Peterson, a teacher at Village Christian Middle School in Sun Valley, shows a classroom set up for potential in-person learning on Sept. 28.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: How is it safe to reopen schools in lower-income areas and not elsewhere? Los Angeles County’s policy, to prioritize reopening schools that serve poorer families, is not based on science.

If it is safe to reopen in L.A. County, then it should not matter where in L.A. County. All kids deserve a free and appropriate education.

Our students and families in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District want to return, and to put them last in line because they do not live in a low socioeconomic area is absurd. Is it about science or politics?

Additionally, requiring union support for reopening immediately gives an advantage to non-union private schools. Please open up our schools to all students via waivers concurrently, no matter where they are located.

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Alex Cherniss, Palos Verdes Estates

The writer is superintendent of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District.

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To the editor: Shoppers push past each other through crowded outdoor malls, yet our schools remain closed.

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Football players tackle and celebrate in the end zone, yet our schools remain closed.

Beachgoers play volleyball at nets taken down by local officials, yet our schools remain closed.

Maskless construction workers congregate for a snack or a smoke, yet our schools remain closed.

Friends share nachos and beer outdoors across a two-foot table, yet our schools remain closed.

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These are the choices our governor, our county supervisors and our health officials have made. When are they going to choose our children?

Vicki Shapiro, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I realize that independent schools are filled with mostly affluent families. I’m extremely concerned about education disparities, existing and future, especially if private schools reopen while public schools remain closed.

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That said, I do take issue with the constantly moving goal post.

I am fortunate that my two children attend a wonderful private elementary school (non-religious) that has done an exceptional job preparing for reopening. Our school is giving parents and teachers the choice between remote learning and in-person learning once they are allowed to reopen.

I don’t understand what issues the county could have with this plan since it addresses concerns from parents and educators.

Kiera Behrle, Los Angeles


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