Hot Topics     Home and Family     K-12     Education Guide    

A mother copes with the back-to-school mess



Our government is failing to make schools safe

students, parents, teachers, schools, opening

In New York City, as of August 24, parents were being told their kids would start school on September 10, and the hybrid schedule will have in-person learning Tuesday and Thursday or Wednesday and Friday, plus every other Monday. But parents didn't know which of these schedules their own children were assigned to, or if the plan, as it stood, would be cancelled in favor of all-remote learning.


New York Times
columnist Michelle Goldberg found herself searching for a solution that would provide stability. Should they move to the coronavirus hotspot where her parents live so they can help out with the kids? Or spend all the family's savings on a homeschool learning pod?

“A friend who works in chronically underfunded city high schools,” wrote Goldberg, “pointed out that privileged parents like me are getting a taste of something that other urban parents have always gone through.” And like low-income parents at the mercy of an erratic system, Goldberg was feeling abandoned by the government.

She starts her criticism at the top, with a president who refuses to accept scientific data and has provoked fears that schools cannot open safely, even in New York, where infection rates are currently low. Republican senators have refused to approve funding for upgrading school ventilation systems and other safety measures. State budget cuts may force the layoff of 9,000 teachers.

Goldberg was relieved to learn that the city now has plans for outdoor classrooms, while wondering why they weren't revealed sooner.

She quotes psychotherapist Lesley Alderman, who says parents with young children are the most stressed by the situation and feel guilt for wanting their kids back in school when there's a risk of illness for students and teachers. But, asks Goldberg, why should parents be feeling like failures for not being able to handle their upended lives? Why isn't the government making schools safe?

“There are only two ways out of pandemic-driven insecurity,” she writes. “Great personal wealth or a functioning government.” Now we are finding out what happens when we don't have either one.




Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Training for upper body strength

    A simple workout brings you psychological and health benefits

    Strength training is not just for men and not just for the gym. The article reviews a workout women can do at home to enhance upper body strength. read more »
  • Get wifi all over the house

    How to extend your signal for remote learning or homeschooling

    Dropped calls or garbled voices make online video calls frustrating for at-home workers and students alike. Four tips on how to improve your signal to accommodate the whole family. read more »
  • Harmonious siblings…is there such a thing?

    Mommy blogger suggests eight tips to help your kids stay friends

    Sibling rivalry is often seen as inevitable, but experience has shown that a few guidelines can help maintain harmony in families. read more »
  • Leaf peeping without the hike

    See the colorful fall foliage the easy way

    While you can enjoy the leaves all throughout the Catskills, The Catskill Visitor's Center has taken the guess work out of finding the great spots where the leaf changing scenes are spectacular. read more »
  • Teacher's insider tip for wearing face masks

    Georgia teacher Angie Madden posted a short video on Facebook revealing her $13 find

    Georgia teacher Angie Madden posted a video on Facebook showing her $13 find of a plastic bracket that fits under your mask. It allows you to speak easily and she claims it is comfortable enough to wear all day. read more »
  • How to help kids slow down and tune in

    Mindfulness helps with mental focus

    Even adults who recognize the value of mindfulness have trouble slowing down. It's often harder for kids, but parents can teach them this valuable skill. read more »
  • Know the signs of hard drug use

    Fentanyl deaths have become a health emergency

    While the opioid epidemic has taken a back seat to the coronavirus pandemic, deaths from drug abuse, particularly of fentanyl, have increased since the quarantine began. Parents have a vital role to play in diagnosing and treating drug abuse. read more »
  • All rules went out the window

    Use 2020 to plan your creative venture based on your rules

    2020 is the year when all the rules of business were put on their ear. Peter Shankman, a dad and a public relations specialist, suggests using this time to take the bull by the horns and try the unthinkable. read more »
  • Be careful of subscriptions that automatically renew

    Children’s online learning program ABCmouse to pay $10 million in damages

    Tens of thousands of customers had their subscriptions renewed without notification and with no easy way to cancel, according to the Federal Trade Commission. With so many of us relying on online information it is easy to be caught in a subscription scam. read more »
  • Being careful vs. being brave

    How much should we protect our younger kids?

    We have the natural parental urge to keep our young children from all harm, but sometimes they need to take a few risks in order to learn. read more »