Pandemic and the school's response.
So I've established pretty well that I'm a teacher, and oh my lord is there ever messed up stuff going on right now. For those who don't know, I have a pregnant wife and a 1 year old at home, and I teach middle school around DC - in a building of around 1,000 students.
As of now, almost all public venues except for public schools are closed in response to the pandemic. What makes it worse is the 40+ fever stricken students who are being sent to school by their parents every day. (I had a look at the nurses charts yesterday.) There is zero planning or response from our school. Instead of sending kids with fevers home, they send them back to class - because they simply have no place to put the kids whose parents won't answer the phone - or worse - the parents who tell the school that they aren't going to come get them. What's more is that all of these children are symtomatic and not being sent to a hospital to be tested.
Rooms are not sanitized day to day. Middle schoolers may as well be drinking vials of each other's saliva for as much as they touch eachother and don't clean themselves. We have an association meeting today to try to force the hand of public school officals. I, personally, am planning to take an extended leave of absence until an acceptable response is taken.
The main concern of the county is that school is state funded daycare that provides free meals for most of the students (where I teach.) At the same time, I did not go to college to teach to be a daycare provider, nor work in a glorified cafeteria. Parents are actively sending their chidlren to school sick, endangering staff and other students. I'm glad that I have a contract that will prevent me from losing my career for making a choice about the personal safety of myself and my family. From the looks of our preliminary e-mails, over half of the staff in my building are going to band together and stop coming to work, which will close our building by itself. If you see that public universities, professional sports, and most events are being cancelled, public schools are also a logical closure.