Should students return to school or be kept at home with online learning? Has the Coronavirus pandemic run its course enough to allow children to return to student-teacher in-person learning? That has been the question dominating educational systems throughout the nation. While some schools have returned to a semblance of normality, others have remained locked down, with concerns about spreading the virus preventing their reopening. Or is that the real story? In Los Angeles, CA, the public health chief may be suggesting another agenda – a political one – as she warns the county’s schools will likely not resume until after the presidential election.
Dr. Barbara Ferrer, in a conference call with educators, twice mentioned keeping schools closed until after the election. “We don’t realistically anticipate that we would be moving to either tier 2 or to reopening K-12 schools at least until after the election, in early November,” she said, drawing criticism for the political date. Leaked audio obtained by the L.A. radio station KFI AM 60 reveals the doctor’s comments:
“When we just look at the timing of everything, it seems to us a more realistic approach to this would be to think that we’re going to be where we are now until we are done with the election.”
Nothing to See Here?
The county’s Department of Public Health tried to play down the furor later by saying Ferrer was only referring to the timeframe for “expanded school reopenings,” but that didn’t sway much of the public. One tweeter, known as JP, said: “It’s been about the election the entire time. Anybody who’s been paying attention could see this would be stretched into November solely for that purpose.”
Some insist the statement was taken out of context – that Ferrer merely used election day as a benchmark. It is worth noting, though, that everything else in L.A. County is on track to reevaluate reopening and expanding within the next couple of weeks, except for the school system. Ferrer may have meant the beginning of November, but why not say that instead of citing a specific event? After playing Ferrer’s recorded comments, the hosts of KFI News speculated that the timing was a way to thwart President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign: If the students were to return to school now, then it would “give good will to Trump, and more votes.”
A commenter identified as Lisa tweeted out this response:
“Dr Ferrer told us ‘the science is guiding our decisions’ what does science have to do with the election? We are being held hostage by a Politically motivated shut down. WAKE UP LOS ANGELES.”
The L.A. school system has been in the spotlight in recent months for what appears to be politically charged decisions. As Liberty Nation reported, in July, the United Teachers Los Angeles Union (UTLAU) had a list of demands before allowing children to return to class: “Social distancing practices aside, the union folks also want to defund the police, close charter schools, and promote self-serving legislation unrelated to the Coronavirus.” The UTLAU also insisted on funding for illegal immigrants, a wealth tax, and even Medicare for All.
As parents struggle to understand the risks (or lack of) to their children should schools reopen, the media continues to bombard the American public with daily updates of infection, hospitalizations, and deaths supposedly due to COVID. Liberty Nation’s Pennel Bird sums up the situation: “We obediently flattened the curve way back in April, and that was just a signal to the media to quickly move the goalposts.”
Perhaps the goalposts all along were set for November 4.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.