The decision to shut down schools in the name of COVID precaution was controversial and unprecedented. A shift to virtual learning had many apprehensive about the social and academic effects on a generation of students impacted by forceful government response to the virus on a global scale. For those who have been able to return to the classroom, the relief for many students and parents has been palpable.
This little girl sobbing when she finds out she can finally go back to school 🥺🥺 pic.twitter.com/9MoKoX3i0O
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) February 25, 2021
In the aftermath, it is time to take a look at what we have done. Studies are being conducted to examine the impact on children who were not allowed to attend school in person.
New data suggest that the damage from shutting down schools has been worse than almost anyone expected https://t.co/NFwisYrDsg
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) July 9, 2022
Do we need new data to suggest that shutting down schools would have a negative impact on our students? Was it really unexpected?
“Almost anyone.” https://t.co/Q0iwrVuExe
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) July 9, 2022
As Charles C.W. Cooke points out, there were many who expected that shutting down schools would be damaging. Pretending otherwise is a slap in the face to those who repeatedly voiced concerns and fought to re-open schools. No one expected any of this?
Except, you know, those of us with kids.
— Generalissimo Illegal Neanderthal 🇺🇲✝️ (@rayrothfe) July 9, 2022
Come on, Charlie. They’re not gonna give the nod to conservatives about this.
— Wind Up Alligator Hooch🌻 (@CompanyHooch) July 9, 2022
Perhaps no one in the impenetrable echo chamber of COVID paranoia considered the cost of such drastic measures.
— Allan (@AllanRicharz) July 9, 2022
Clearly, some of the objections were heard though, a whole lot of people excluded from the ‘almost anyone’ set can recall that there was an active effort to dismiss and invalidate anyone who spoke out against shutting down schools for an extended period of time.
To be clear there were plenty of us who warned about this.
Our voices were systematically suppressed, and we were personally marginalized and vilified merely for expressing our views, including by many people I had previously regarded as friends. https://t.co/GERCLX1UjQ
— Jonathan Engler 🐭 (@jengleruk) July 9, 2022
As the battle continues over who knew this was a bad idea, and who insisted we put our children through it – the important part is that everyone seems to know now.
How it started ——–> How it's going pic.twitter.com/XoXOwFJtc0
— Nick Foy (@TheNickFoy) July 9, 2022
Now that the damaging effects of shutting down schools have been quantified, can we make the united decision not to do it again?
A stunning data visualization of the academic damage from remote learning
— David Zweig (@davidzweig) April 26, 2022
Emotions run high, but the numbers don’t lie. As COVID case counts flare up and whispers of new mandates and shutdowns are teased, remember that almost everyone is suddenly interested in the damage caused by dramatic policy decisions that ignored the concerns of many.
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