MontClairVoyant: Lawsuit Against Teachers Is Regrettable and Not Forgettable

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Was a judge correct to deny the Montclair School District’s attempt to force remote-teaching educators to return to classrooms during COVID?

Sincerely,
Jonathan Livingston Legal

Yes. It’s still uncertain if buildings are safe, and many teachers have yet to be vaccinated. But the court case is set to continue, making this the biggest clash since Montclair and Little Falls both asked MSU’s Red Hawk mascot to the prom.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Montclair State’s big bird prefers to date its own species. Anyway, the court ordered the Montclair Education Association (MEA) and the district to respond by March 1 and March 5, respectively, with a court hearing slated for March 9. A version of March Madness?

Sincerely,
Jo March’s Family

Your college hoops reference reminds me that any woman marrying on the rebound should wear a basketball net for a veil.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Of course Montclair’s hardworking, admirable educators never stopped teaching as they continue to do a great job instructing online, right?

Sincerely,
It Was Not a Strike, Mike

Right. Heck, none of their students will forget English Language Arts: Art Garfunkel, Art Carney…

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
By trying to use the court system against the MEA, did the superintendent (in league with the Board of Education) possibly burn his bridges with teachers and other school staff?

Sincerely,
An Over-the-Top Hop

Hmm…will yet another Montclair superintendent have a short tenure? Search consultants are trembling with anticipation, or maybe they’re shivering from this month’s cold weather.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Some critics have claimed Mayor Spiller — a teacher and high-ranking New Jersey Education Association official — is siding with the MEA. Comment?

Sincerely,
They Look for the Union Label

Spiller seems largely neutral in this dispute, at least publicly. Mayors can possess awkward job histories — as was also the case with has-a-real-estate-history Robert Jackson pushing overdevelopment like the “Arts District”: Art Blakey, Art Buchwald…

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Speaking of politicians, your thoughts on 43 of the 50 U.S. Senate Republicans disgustingly and spinelessly voting to acquit Trump last Saturday despite his inciting the Capitol riot amid his Big Lie that the election was stolen?

Sincerely,
Sedition…Sedition…SEDITION!

I’m comforted that Montclair’s GOP leaders seemingly still adore Trump so much they might include his name in all conversations. For instance, “Thump the bump on the stump with a sump pump” becomes “Trump the Trump on the Trump with a Trump Trump.” Mellifluous…

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
That makes no sense!

Sincerely,
Stop Making No Sense

Neither did Trump’s acquittal. Now I’m feeling bummed that the home I used to own in Montclair had a 43 address. If I look at old mail via a mirror, I can pretend the address was 34.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
5-2 was Tuesday’s Township Council vote to pass tougher rules against loud, polluting gas-powered leaf blowers. Reaction?

Sincerely,
Eco Echoes

I hope those blowers will be banned completely, but this is GREAT news for now. I was a Montclair homeowner for 21 years, and always used a rake. Well, not always — for raking leaves, yes, but not for things like stirring coffee.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
One last point about the impeachment trial: Isn’t it interesting that Republicans are supposedly “the law-and-order party” yet most didn’t seem very concerned with Capitol police being viciously attacked by Trump’s far-right white mob?

Sincerely,
The Hypocrite-ic Oath

And many police unions still prefer Trump and the GOP. I prefer the MEA.

 

 

Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.

 

 

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49 COMMENTS

  1. We elected Spiller knowing his position in the NJEA. We know & accept without question the NJEA supporting the MEA labor contract negotiations by sending trained negotiators. We know & readily accept union people defend other union people, and air their differences within family. Every elected Councilor has a right to their opinions and who they support or don’t support. They are the ones risking reelection, etc. I have no problem with the Mayor supporting the MEA. His position is without ethical conflict. Regardless of whether you are a fan of his or not, I don’t get the people who say he can’t pick sides? Or, are these the people who think our elected officials represent everyone?

  2. Thank you for your comment, Frank.

    I have no doubt Mayor Spiller supports the MEA in his mind, but publicly he seems to have made an effort to remain mostly neutral. As mayor, Spiller does have an obligation to at least try to sort of represent everyone.

    (As you might remember, I supported his opponent Dr. Renee Baskerville in last year’s mayoral election. But not because of Spiller’s NJEA connection, which I have no problem with. Part-time mayors are usually going to have outside jobs, whether on the corporate side, the union side, etc.)

  3. I didn’t check, Frank.

    In the presidential election, I think I got a mailing verifying that my ballot had been received/accepted, but I don’t remember getting a similar verification after voting in Montclair’s election.

  4. Yes, I think that was the point of Jeff Jacobson’s letter a few months back.

    Personally, I view it as a form of gerrymandering. It’s great, you still get to have all the trappings of participation. And we never know. It’s a win-win.

  5. I hear you, Frank. There’s always an element of uncertainty about whether our votes will be counted, whether we vote by mail or in-person via machine.

  6. Dave,

    Everyone has made a big deal about the 400 air purifiers that were purchased and installed. The thing about air purifiers when it comes to containment is they are a royal pain to properly move them. Most facilities don’t move them. Anyway…

    Think of the purifiers like the 300 Spartans fighting the COVID horde. The Spartans strategically positioned their limited assets to maximize their effect. What does the Montclair Public School District do? They take almost a quarter of this precious equipment and put it in the high school. That is their Battle of Thermopylae. Not K-5. Nope. The high school. And look at the room allocation.

    Further, do you think the MEA or the Principals union objected. No. Want to now why?

    The parents reviewed this under a microscope and didn’t say anything either. Especially the FAIL folks. Want to know why?

    There are 400 virus-extracting purification machines and no one has contested where they are being located?

    You have to take this township with a grain of salt….and watch out for the passive-aggressiveness, too. Anyway, fun reading is which rooms they put these purification machines in.

    The public school 2021 hijinks are off to a fantastic start!

  7. And for people liking inside jokes, they placed a few token purifiers in the math rooms. Yup. Let’s not waste these precious machines on the math departments. Score one for Room 112.

  8. I’m really sorry to all. I was sloppy and used out-of-date reports. Let me correct myself. MHS has just over 140 of the precious purifiers. By my math, the correct percentage is over a third of the total purification machine inventory. The set-piece battle against COVID is still planned for MHS.

  9. Frank, whatever the number of air purifiers, and wherever they’re being placed, the bottom line is that vaccines are out there and the vast majority of teachers and other school staffers will hopefully get their shots relatively soon. With that in sight, why not avoid health risks and wait a little longer to try to reopen schools for in-person instruction? (As opposed to the recent “has to be immediate” approach of the superintendent, BOE, and some parents.)

  10. I’m fine with that. I just have a problem with the all the lies by the MEA. They’re not alone, but they are liars.

    Further, there are over 3,000 K-5 students. There are 400 air purifiers. You may want to count the ventilated wing at Bradford and the Bullock school. We have more than enough capacity to bring back this population under what the science say is safe conditions. Personally, I would wait for the vaccine if I was a teacher of my age. But, the Blue Wave dropped the hammer, so tough.

    The lack of honesty in the school district is astounding. The parents, the MEA and the administration. Really sad. Not surprised. Put people under pressure and most don’t rise to the occasion. Maybe the Montclair parents protesting around Edgemont can walk over to read the plaque on the monument on the island.

  11. Frank, I disagree that there’s lying going on.

    My reading of what the science says is that the purifiers, etc., MIGHT create or WILL HOPEFULLY create safe conditions. Certainly no guarantees.

    As for the purifier in the principal’s office, that office can be a very busy place where one might see students, teachers, and parents (in normal times, at least).

  12. I want to live in your neighborhood!

    I agree with you about the purifiers. But, then you have to admit no amount of the $26MM to improve the ventilation will make a difference. And to be clear, the MEA has never, ever looked at the $26MM worth of improvements and agreed it will make teachers safe. They didn’t lie. They just were in no way, no shape honest with us. The good news is we can take the $26MM off the table as a waste of money. That is a really good thing.

    The really bad thing is what I’ve said many time before. The vaccines are, at best, a very short-term solution. If you received your 2nd shot this month, it will likely be ineffective by September. The boosters will not be ready until Q4. We’re all hoping the J&J vaccine will do better, but there might be some Jersey bias in that hope.

    I think our BoE, our school administration and the MEA are just an awful stew. Nothing good has come out of them in decades. I’m in a tiny outlier group with this belief. But, come September, let’s see if we are back full time. I don’t wish it, but as long as oars are pulling in different directions, the kids will lose. Significantly. So, maybe this entitled braintrust (& very deep pocketed) thing we call Montclair might want to tee up a Plan B. Just for kicks & giggles.

    And the Mayor should either step up or get out of the way.

  13. Dave– Union supporter extraordinare! Right or wrong. The goal posts have changed along the way in their reasons for not returning. Right now it’s the vaccine issue, after all the other front line workers have had to work without it and now finally have a chance to get it, the unions want their members prioritized and I’m sure they feel they have a good chance at getting that priority status now with the stakes so high across the country since it is such a current heated issue to get the kids back.
    But maybe if they do end up prioritizing teachers soon, maybe it would be fair to let those teachers ( districts) who have already gone back to some in person learning to be first in line?? Only fair….

  14. Frank, Montclair’s school district started spending to make school buildings safer months before it was known that vaccines would be approved faster than historical precedent. A number of people believed during the early and middle months of 2020 that there was no end in sight for COVID, and of course it was awful to think of remote instruction potentially going on for two or three years. Hence the efforts to reopen schools SOMEWHAT safely when MOSTLY safely seemed like a pipe dream. But, as I noted before, there is now an end in sight thanks to the vaccines.

    I hope, hope, hope schools can reopen in the fall. (This spring seems like a long shot.) I know my 13-year-old daughter eagerly wants to be back in classrooms.

  15. Thank you for the comment, sickntired.

    I have mixed feelings about some unions, but the MEA seems to me to have acted appropriately on the question of when to reopen schools during COVID.

    If there has been any changing of the goal posts, a big reason is that vaccines became available sooner than expected.

    Vaccine prioritization among various groups IS a dilemma. So many groups — including supermarket workers — are worthy of quickly following health-care workers in the vaccine queue. But if governments and other entities are going to push for schools to reopen (for the sake of students and to help parents go back to work), teachers and school staffers should have been prioritized to some extent. Certainly ahead of smokers (though I understand the medical and hospital-capacity reasoning behind that).

  16. Frank, the 26M required is not a waste of money. It needs to be done now and for the future. These buildings are ancient, the heat doesn’t work, the boilers are relics, the air flow is non existent. This will come from federal funding if they play their cards right. 160B in school funding. That’s a lot of millions.

    And your misinformation regarding vaccines is troubling at best. The studies are reporting longer term virus protection than initially thought. Those who have recovered from asymptomatic or full Covid and then get the vaccine have an immune response of over 1000 fold even with a single dose. So saying that a second dose will be ineffective by September is patently untrue. Everyone needs to get the vaccine it’s as simple as that. There is tons of really updated information in today’s NYT. I’d like to know the manufacturer of those purifiers and data on actual virus removal in rooms they exist in also. Do they need to be cleaned, maintained, tested, things like that. You can’t just plotz a machine in a room and say “that was easy”.

    And SnT I don’t think we are in that short of a supply or there are that many teachers where we would need to prioritize those who have come back to work. Actually, none have so might as well go by age at this point. And yes, I was being facetious about Florida yesterday. There is a huge push now to get teachers back seeing how damaging this year has been for students of all ages. The bickering between the players is not helping either. I think even if the kids can get back for a few months it will set off a healthy summer. We’re this close. Dave is right, one final push will get us across the goal line no matter where those posts are.

  17. Thank you, louielouie! Several excellent points.

    It would be great if Montclair could get a good amount of federal money to pay for school-building safety/improvements when that $1.9-trillion relief package hopefully passes. And while I’m not totally optimistic about it, I share your hope that schools could reopen, at least in hybrid mode, before the summer. Even, say, for just May and June. If many teachers and school staffers got their first shots in March, their second shots in April, and then the short time after that for the vaccines to fully take…

  18. LL,

    Using your same ventilation argument, you have no way of evaluating whether the $26MM is not a waste. Yes, there is the belief that if you throw more and more money at something, it will yield many benefits. Also, you had to pick boilers. Don’t play the Pick-6. You might want to go back through the capital project reporting and see all the boilers we have replaced within the last decade. And, just walk around some of our premier schools buildings and look at the very late 20th century ugly window frames. My poster child school is the travesty on the park (Edgemont). The school building renovations screwed up a perfectly bucolic setting. However, people with money still buy there.

    I agree most everyone should get the vaccines, any vaccine and also get every booster. I say most because everyone has lost track of a paramount safety measure – all vaccines are only available under an emergency use approval. Why do people just ignore these conditional use safeguards? Why do people ignore why they exist? If we vaccinate 800 teachers, 40, give or take will not be protected from the strains trialed. That 40 will, just a guess, go up to 125-300 with no or seriously reduced protection by May. By Sept, the SA variant will be fighting for primacy. I think many vaccinated people will be protected from hospitalization or worse. Many could be a large minority to a large majority. We don’t know. But, again, we have woefully underestimated this virus at every single turn.

    Let me put it in terms many people will understand. The virus regrouped during the halftime show, made adjustments to counter our schemes and is ready to kick butt in the 2nd Half…and as many Overtime Periods as necessary to survive.

  19. And the purifier equipment is not cheap, but the maintenance and filters are the big cost. My understanding is you have to change filters at least weekly, depending on actual run times. I take a stab and say the filters cost $25-50. 400 machines, 50 weeks = $0.5-1.0MM annually in just filters. Have couple of outbreaks, etc. etc. and it could be quite the annual expense center. PS: do you think the draft budget has COVID cost centers? Nope. Nada. Can’t do that. The Labtest bills won’t be that high. There is really no point. We aren’t subject testing to screen, just diagnostics. It would be scientifically silly, and tremendously expensive to test air quality.

  20. LL: “I don’t think we are in that short of a supply or there are that many teachers where we would need to prioritize those who have come back to work. Actually, none have so might as well go by age at this point.
    I think my line was misinterpreted. What I meant was (a little tongue in cheek), “don’t ya think it’s only fair for those who have already ‘braved the bear’ and gone back to in person teaching maybe deserve to go first in the vaccine line (a little reward for their “bravery”), as opposed to districts who have not stepped foot yet in a school building?”; Key word FAIR.
    If that’s what it comes down to, prioritizing school staff — and I think it will because the pressure of the education unions across the country on government officials is huge right now. Expediency for them at this point. Fair? IDK…
    Not a good look in much of the general publics eye (outside of the education bubble).
    Vaccines are in short supply right now! That’s all we hear on the news. School staff is a huge population group. But it really is about quantitative level of risk with regard to professions/workers in their work environments in relation to covid exposure and the science has to be the determinant. Lots of studies are now out there about schools and covid transmission.

  21. Thank you for the follow-up comment, sickntired.

    If education unions have so much clout, that certainly hasn’t worked for them in New Jersey, where teachers and school staff have not been moved up in the vaccine queue (at least so far). And if teachers and school staff ARE moved up in the near future, it might not be so much because of pressure from education unions as from the pressure of some parents and other constituencies who want schools to soon reopen in hybrid mode or fully.

  22. I see it differently Dave than you, (as many others do too). Cases are falling rapidly after the holiday surge. Many school districts are returning now & many had already returned. Those that haven’t returned have teachers unions that are putting up a big fight. Such as SOMA and Montclair in our general area.
    The reason for not returning in November was because cases were climbing and expected to climb more. That was their reason then. Not the case now.
    Now it’s the vaccine (only since it became available in January), but yes, expediency will prevail. Lucky them, they will now jump ahead of others worker and older people probably too (and for a work environment that is so much less riskier than other work environments!!) That is why it is viewed as selfish and entitled by many. But hey if that’s the only way to get the kids back lets go for it!

  23. I love giving Montclair math challenges for obvious reasons.

    Now, if last week we were vaccinating people over 65 and it takes 5-6 weeks from 1st shot to be fully protected, AND 80% of all infections for the week are age 60 and under, AND age 30 and under were 45% of all cases for the week, does Montclair have a community spread problem or not.

    You have a 50% chance of getting this right.

  24. sickntired, cases do seem to be falling, but there are still plenty of cases. Many districts indeed at least partly reopened schools, but some returned to remote after that. Again, with vaccinations slowly moving toward massive proportions, it seems prudent to stay remote a little longer.

    If New Jersey gives teachers some vaccine prioritization, teachers will be ahead of some groups and not others. Residents over 65 have already been able to get shots for more than a month now, so teachers are clearly not ahead of older people in the queue.

  25. That’s an interesting math challenge, Frank. I’m still trying to figure out why COVID-19 didn’t become COVID-20 and COVID-21. 🙂 🙁

  26. Teachers are not entitled, they teach our children and want to be safe. They are not jumping ahead of anyone more at risk. And who is more at risk than teachers who have not been able to get a vaccine. If you want kids back in school then vaccinate the teachers. Why are teachers being denigrated as entitled? It’s enough already. Calling them entitled is not productive at all and will do absolutely nothing for opening schools. Who do you want vaccinated ahead of teachers? Or is it the union that has got your goat?

  27. The teachers union is getting criticized for very good reasons. If you want some, go ask the elementary teachers they threw under the bus.

    The other stakeholders should also be criticized. But, for the teachers union to think they don’t deserve criticism quite frankly is bizarre, tone deaf and indefensible.

  28. Thank you for your comment, louielouie. I completely agree — teachers are NOT entitled. The vast majority are dedicated and hardworking, and deeply care about their students. Plus they work in a profession that’s underpaid and gets all kinds of criticism and interference from politicians and others who have no clue how hard it is to be a teacher. Many of those critics wouldn’t last a day in a classroom, whether that classroom were in-person or remote.

  29. Frank, as a parent, I’ve had direct experience with Montclair’s public-school teachers for nearly three decades. They are among the people I admire most (for reasons I mentioned in my 11:14 am reply to louielouie). The MEA basically embodies what teachers (and other school staff) want or don’t want — i.e., the MEA is its members, and its members are the MEA. So I also have good feelings about that union and most of its decisions. No person or entity is immune from criticism, but the MEA does seem to unfairly receive more than its share.

  30. Tone deaf is right Frank. The union who represents the teachers (some districts not all, the unreasonable ones) are displaying entitled behavior. Dave you’re wrong and for some reason always toot the horn of the MEA right or wrong. Nothing against teachers, just their unions when they become unreasonable and unable to see the forest for the trees. That yes “gets my goat” if you want to call it that. No fairness, just one-sided. Many seniors and even health care workers have yet to be able to schedule a vaccine appointment. Come out of the bubble.
    Last point — Teachers are NOT at high risk; tone deaf indeed. Look up the science.

  31. Great summary from the parents in SOMA:
    “While there’s no doubt our dedicated teachers are working hard to make virtual learning as effective as possible, the reality is that nothing compares to having children sitting with their peers in the same physical space with teachers,” said Michael Krans, father of a first grader at Marshall Elementary School in South Orange. “We should listen to the experts, including the CDC, and learn from other school districts across the country (and the world) that have returned to schools. The message is loud and clear: with the right precautions in place, schools are safe.”
    Fairness and reasonableness while following the science about transmission in schools!

  32. Exactly Dave. The teachers have to take responsibility for their union’s actions. We all assume it reflects the majority. Of course, the MEA is made up of more than teachers, so we should all feel free to ignore these fringe occupations within the union.

    Admitting they have made a mistake, much less a series of them would be a fine starting point. I’m assuming the history teachers get this. The aforementioned elementary level teachers know this. I still have no idea what they were thinking with the experts they hired. That whole thing is bizarre. OK, they don’t want to admit it because of they & their employer just beat on each other for appearances. But, if they can’t admit mistakes to their constituency for support – the parents – than they need to stop complaining they have too many critics and they are constantly misunderstood.

    Again, I don’t know one individual member I hold in low regard. But, I hold the members accountable. FYI, This is one of the huge legal distinctions between corporations and unions.

    Personally, I think I could hold my own against a classroom of little monsters for maybe even a week. I agree I would likely not be successful with the little monsters spread-out remotely ( and their parents just out of frame).

    Oh, and did you see NJ is requesting no standardized testing this school year? Yes, we are going to measure learning loss by anecdotal observations and attendance. And then promote almost everyone to the next grade level. Works for me.

  33. sickntired, I’m a bit puzzled that you have “nothing against” Montclair teachers but have a problem with the MEA. I understand that any union might act in ways some of its members don’t like, but that doesn’t appear to be the case with the MEA. If that WERE the case, Montclair teachers and school staff would insist on different MEA leadership and/or criticize MEA decisions. I just don’t see a lot of separation between MEA membership and leadership.

    True that some seniors and perhaps some health-care workers haven’t been vaccinated yet in NJ, but they’re eligible to be vaccinated. The problem is supply, getting on a computer often enough and at the right time to set up an appointment, etc.

    Teachers may not be at the highest risk of COVID, but there’s still significant risk when in older buildings for six or whatever hours with many other staff and many students.

  34. SnT, Data is not science. The data says teachers show similar infection rates to community spread. There is no science about the environments where they were infected.

    There is no science on ventilation. As a matter of fact an area I am taking the MEA to task over is there are no ventilation standards. None. Nada. Therefore, there are no protocols to collect information. It is one big black hole. What was the expert for. The MEA’s agenda or the science?

    Remember Fauci said no masks are needed. Remember the CDC said they wanted to control a pandemic with their own tests. Bottomline is we are making this up as we go. The only reason the parents think it is safe is not because of the science. They just can’t take it anymore, so we scramble to find data that fits the need. There is science, but it needs time.

    I have a little contempt for all three stakeholder groups. They remind me of the situation in Texas. Pre-event, Montclair’s educational stakeholders had mediocre relationships at best. The standards, processes, metrics were literally crap….and I can’t overstate this. The pandemic came along and just blew the whole thing up. And that’s why everyone is so angry.

    Maybe that future day when normalcy returns, we might actually have learned something and actually apply it to make something better. Living the many, many wave of residents over so many years, I doubt it. The latest iterations of these stakeholders seems the same as the previous ones. Of course, it is hard to say conclusively because we refuse to measure anything. We can’t measure the achievement gap progress, reading progress, the math progress we have to stop the bleeding and make headway. I can’t remember we actually measured progress on something we felt was important. So, does it really matter when we go back to school full time?

  35. sickntired, among my suggested revisions to that SOMA dad’s statement:

    He said, “The message is loud and clear: with the right precautions in place, schools are safe.”

    My revision: “The message is loud and clear: with the right precautions in place, schools are safer than without the right precautions in place, but still not as safe as they would be when all teachers and staff are vaccinated.”

  36. Frank, in most of my writing about the MEA, I mention its school staff members along with its teacher members. Those staff positions aren’t “fringe occupations” at all, though I realize you might have been being partly facetious.

    I think MEA members HAVE been taking responsibility for their union’s actions, which they seem to agree with. I certainly haven’t heard otherwise.

    As for the NJSLA tests (previously the PARCCs), I was against them pre-pandemic and remain against them now. We don’t need a layer of those standardized tests atop local-teacher-given tests (which I favor) to know there has sadly/probably been some learning loss from remote instruction vs. in-person instruction.

  37. Dave,

    a) fringe was sarcastic.
    b) I expect & like policy, practices & execution disagreements among the union membership. However, the actions are owned by all. Good people make mistakes. Good people own their mistakes. Perfect people don’t make mistakes.
    c) if you are ok with Boeing being responsibly for air worthiness certification of their planes, then relying on teachers grading their class performance seems congruent.

  38. Frank, I wasn’t gonna post again (tone deaf issue) but your comment prompted me. About “data not being science”. Of course you are correct, but data does inform Science. The science is beginning to surface from the data collection and analysis.
    For the Union side (again only some districts!) that insist it is too risky, too unsafe to return to in-person learning and disregard what others have been saying and what other districts have done successfully, here are just 2 quick searches of recent studies that discuss the risk level of transmission in schools:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/science-and-research/transmission_k_12_schools.html
    https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2021/01/three-studies-highlight-low-covid-risk-person-school
    Not even going to comment on Dave’s revision of the SOMA dad’s statement!

  39. Frank, re your Boeing reference: If teacher-created tests are given to students on sheets of paper shaped into paper airplanes, and those paper airplanes crash, then there’s a problem… 😉

  40. “Not even going to comment on Dave’s revision of the SOMA dad’s statement”? Don’t blame you at all, sickntired. 🙂

  41. SnT,

    Agree science informed. Now the science is crafted into guidance… as this CDC link shows: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/public-health-recommendations.html

    Now apply their quarantine guidance then, and square it with what they just issued. Also, please look at the asterisked notation (too critical to bury it in a footnote) that mask/PPE wearers are not exempt from need to quarantine.

    And the go back to your links and that MPS will not have any testing. And if you just want to deja vu all over again, recall that strange, out of the blue clarification back when…about what constitutes 15 mins is a cumulative daily sum. Remember that one?
    I went though a chunk of the links, but skipped all footnotes and outside references. I did it several times, but at least once taking each side of the debate. I found support for my positions. Yes, the science is coming mote and mote each day.

    So data informed science. Science came to rigorous findings. And then policy makers did rewrites.

    The CDC is the best we have, but at best, their work product is being seriously manipulated. (based on published data). At worst, the CDC has structural, systemic deficiencies. I think the latter, but I’ll be generous in allowing for the former to stand on its own.

  42. Thank you for the link, Frank. Excellent statement about reopening schools this fall. I hope/assume most people will be vaccinated by then. And if most people are vaccinated by sometime this spring, and schools can reopen at least partly in, say, May — even better.

  43. Dave,
    This statement was from last July for the then Fall’20 term. Then the science route was replaced leading to the current lack of consensus…because pediatricians, even the board certified ones, have to consider who pays their bills…and the unions were getting paid either way.

  44. Oops, I didn’t notice the 2020 date, Frank. But it was pre-vaccines, and the number of COVID cases spiked in the fall as the weather got colder, so “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry…”

  45. Dave,

    Help me out here, please. I was having my coffee reading a another local media site (that has a weekly paper) and one featured story has 21 teachers & staff posing together for a photo inside one of our schools. Sometime between Feb 1-5. Without masks. Without distancing. The MPSD supplied the photo. Obviously, this was a photo from February, 2020. Aside from it being a doctored photo where the masks were photoshopped out and everyone was repositioned closer, a photo from last year is the only intelligent explanation. Even so, the optics alone are really terrible. We’re in Black History Month, the article is about inequity and its disproportionate impact…and this is the photo to accompany the message.

    Told you the MPSD is broken.

  46. Frank, I just looked at the photo you’re referring to. It almost certainly must be an old photo, and, if that’s the case, the media outlet should have labeled it as such. Teachers and staff are just not in schools in those numbers at this time, and of course they know to wear masks and social-distance if they somehow were. Also, it could be a photo the school district provided the media outlet before the pandemic that’s being reused now.

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