Jasper, TX — As a parent, access to quality education is a paramount concern. Let’s face it - a patchwork of online education tools are not ideal - but very little this year has gone to plan. We must not ignore the public health experts and place our children, teachers and education professionals at unnecessary risk.
Social distancing protocols will be nearly impossible to practice if Governor Abbott allows schools to reopen next month. While it does appear that children are, in general, less affected by coronavirus - this must not be interpreted as immunity. Children have contracted coronavirus, and children have died. Children can also act as carriers for the virus - without demonstrating symptoms.
Some of our teachers and education professionals are considered to be at a greater risk of contracting coronavirus. This could be due to age, pre existing conditions, or pregnancy. Furthermore, the State has not provided any guidance on the use of masks or PPE for educators or children. Governor Abbott is sadly placing his political preferences over public health.
Today I stand with teachers, education professionals, parents, and students to signal my outrage and concern with the State of Texas’ plan to reopen schools next month. I am calling on the Governor to require school districts across Texas to cancel in-person classes while the coronavirus still poses a threat to our communities. I am also calling on the Governor to increase the funding for school districts so that teachers, parents, and children receive the resources they need to participate in online education and so that meals can continue to be distributed to our children in need.
For our children, we must lead by example and keep schools safe. And for now, that means keeping them closed.
Rashad Lewis is the Democratic nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives, Texas District 36. He is a former council member in the City of Jasper. Rashad is the son of a pastor and is committed to upholding the values of faith and family while speaking out for marginalized communities and those in need. Visit: https://www.lewis4congress.com/