LETTER — School board meeting resolved nothing

Published 5:00 pm Friday, October 2, 2020

To The Editor:

Data put forth Monday night by Dr. (H. Robert) Nash, an area representative for COVID response, fully supported the reopening of Buckingham schools.

Data given Monday night, in conjunction with standards to reopen, fully support the reopening of our K-5, since they can meet the required metrics set forth by the VDH (Virginia Department of Health), the governor, and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Data put forth Monday night stated that when we reopen, there will be spread, but mitigation of that spread is what will allow schools to remain open. That is the data. That is not feelings. That is not emotion. Those are facts.

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Monday night, BCPS (Buckingham County Public Schools) held a school board meeting to allow the community to speak about whether to reopen or not. Simply put, parents want to reopen, and teachers feel underprepared, stemming from a lack of guidance, training, or planning. Parental concerns ranged from a severe work overload for our high school students and a lack of an actual education for our lower grades. From surveys sent home, to work provided, to guidance to teachers and staff, this virtual learning, or as Dr. Nash called it a “non-education education,” is failing everyone.

The vote to stay virtual, which was as generalized a vote as humanly possible, ended in a 3-3 tie. The absent board member was not present, even through a video conference, which other county boards have done so that this exact issue did not arise. Do I know whether her vote would have swayed to reopen? No. But, at least it would have been a finalization.

Monday’s meeting ended in making it a teachers vs. parents controversy, which is exactly what it should not be. The teachers should be given the tools to prepare for whatever version of schooling we do, and parents deserve knowing how our students will actually be educated.

Nothing was resolved Monday, except in adding a further divide between parents and the school system, when it should have been a time to bring people together.

Paul Anderson

New Canton