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Letters to the Editor: Saying ‘open schools’ is easy. Knowing how is much harder

Common areas at Dorsey High School are cordoned off with caution tape in Los Angeles in March 2020.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Columnist George Skelton says that school districts should have found “some way” to get students and teachers safely back into classrooms in the middle of a pandemic.

Would he like to tell us what that way would have been? Would he like to tell us where the money was to do this, assuming he knew the costs?

If the restart of in-classroom teaching turns into another disaster, not only will teachers, parents and people in their communities die, we’ll also set back overall efforts to crush this pandemic and require a new wave of shutdowns.

I suggest that Skelton talk this through with an independent expert on infectious diseases, and then publish another column on the subject.

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Ramón Castellblanch, Benicia, Calif.

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To the editor: I enjoyed being a teacher for 30 years. My style of teaching was “in your face,” and I found that close connection very effective in assuring students’ learning and interest.

If I were teaching now, I would want to be in the classroom and continue with the style I found successful. But science tells me that right now, it is simply not safe enough for both kids and teachers to be in school.

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I know parents and teachers want to go back to normalcy in education, but this starting and stopping is causing more anxiety than educational success. I humbly suggest that school be canceled until next fall, and all students repeat their current grade levels.

The worst outcome would be that kids would duplicate some of their learning, but all students would be given a chance to succeed where they struggled online.

Phyllis Molloff, Fallbrook

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To the editor: Parents are not victims. I’m not an educator, but I do have a child who is successfully learning from home during the pandemic.

The social aspect of school is quite important, and we all look forward to schools reopening. But it is time for parents to stop regarding schools as a form of babysitting and actively participate in their children’s education.

Ensuring completion of homework and proper study habits has always been the responsibility of parents. We need to take the time to sit down with our children each day and review their homework. It may be exhausting after a long day of work, but that is part of being a parent.

Those who lament that schools have been closed for so long seriously underestimate the resilience and intelligence of children. Children can and do fall behind, but they also catch up.

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Dane Morrison, Long Beach


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