Jose Mier Interviews Local Parents
“This is ridiculous.” That Is the opinion of George Hernandez, whose daughter Gabrielle is a fourth grader here in Sun Valley California. Hernandez’s opinion shared by many other parents in Sun Valley who decry the city and state’s decision not to reopen schools in the fall.
In California it seems to be up to the local jurisdictions whether or not to reopen the schools. Those in counties that have higher than average Coronavirus infection count are opting to continue distance-learning over in-person learning in the classroom.
Julia Miller, a Sun Valley mother of two young boys, feels even more strongly about it. “I am on the verge of tears,” she said. “My boys have been at home for months and I’m going crazy trying to find things for them to do to keep them occupied.” Her complaint is echoed by dozens of other Sun Valley parents for whom the decision not to open classrooms is causing great problems. For instance, someone needs to be at home to watch the children while they’re there. But for those that don’t have close family members able to help in this capacity that means they have to stay home with their children regardless of whether they’re in front of the computer trying to learn. Babysitters fast became a relic in the wake of COVID-19 and the fear of letting “strangers” inside one’s home.
For those parents who work, that means they won’t be able to go to their job unless they are working from home. The inability to go to work on a regular basis may result not only in loss of income but in loss of the job itself. This has many parents worried about their futures.
Valerie Johnson, another Sun Valley mother speaks for many when she says, “Enough is enough. We know that kids are less susceptible to the coronavirus than adults so they should reopen the schools. There’s always going to be some risk involved, but the downside of keeping kids at home for longer than we have to is going to result in a lot of unforeseen consequences.”
With schools erring on the side of caution, most parents are frustrated and angry that their children have nowhere to go once the regular school year starts. Experts like Dr. Karen Hughes, a child psychologist in Los Angeles, warn that keeping children out of school will have a deleterious effect on their development an acquisition of social skills.
Frustration and anger aside seems that Sun Valley parents have no choice but to adapt two at home learning for the foreseeable future.