President Trump said he thinks it would be a “good idea” for schools to open for a “short period of time” before the academic year ends. The U.S. leader said this during a coronavirus press briefing on Monday.
“I think you’ll see a lot of schools open up,” even for just a short amount of time, the president said. “In terms of what this vicious virus goes after, young people seem to do very well. Young people seem to do very well so I know that there are some governors that aren’t necessarily ready to open up states, but they may be ready to open up the school systems.”
In a call with governors, Trump said: “Some of you might start thinking about school openings, because a lot of people are wanting to have the school openings. It’s not a big subject, young children have done very well in this disaster that we’ve all gone through.” Addressing Vice President Mike Pence, Trump said it’s something “they can seriously consider, and maybe get going on.”
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Reopening Plans For Schools
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) April 28, 2020
More than 30 states said they will remain closed to in-person learning for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year. “Notably, none of the hardest-hit tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have announced plans to close schools for the rest of the academic year,” reported Fox News.
One of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions responded to Trump’s remarks. The American Federation of Teachers said there must be better testing and tracking for the virus. It is also important that schools have access to personal protective equipment.
“It’s good the president understands that reopening society and the economy hinges on successfully and safely reopening schools,” said Randi Weingarten, the union’s president. “But the question should not be whether we open schools, but how we do it safely. COVID-19 is a terrible virus that has already taken too many lives, and, in the absence of a vaccine, there is no magic wand or magic elixir as the president would have us believe.”