To the editor: In the last 6 months in the United States, over 177,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 during this “once in a hundred year” pandemic. With the new academic year already underway and schools open for weeks now in parts of the country, already in the south and mid-west, students and teachers have brought the virus to school with them, triggering quarantines, delaying openings and temporarily shutting schools back down as more and more positive tests roll in. With all of that being said, Shamokin Area and other local schools have decided that they will open anyway and somehow be able to keep our kids and their families safe, despite all of the problems that other schools had to deal with. Not all school board members were in the wrong, however. I would like to take this time to publicly commend the four SCA school board members, including the president, for abruptly resigning in protest.
The Shamokin Area superintendent, along with other area superintendents and their school boards, have decided to politicize this pandemic by ignoring health experts and instead listening to politicians and cable news political talking points. I would love to know how our area school districts plan on keeping schools open safely when other schools in parts of the country, like Indiana, Georgia, Mississippi and a bunch of other states ,have tried this unsuccessfully. Indiana schools shut down within the first 2 days of opening. Georgia schools had more than 200 faculty members in quarantine after starting up. Mississippi schools had to quarantine students who tested positive within the first week of opening.