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Forced to Choose

**this post was written in 2020, but I'm leaving it here for history!**

Since last August when everyone took their cute little back- to-school photos of their children, a lot has changed. It will be years before we ever get back to that level of normal. Some people think we never will. I disagree, but I know it will take time.

I taught in public school so many years ago, that I remember 9/11. I was at work that day and I remember the scores of parents rushing up to the school to sign their children out and take them home to safety. I remember longing to hurry and get my 2 year old from the babysitter's house, but I was stuck at work.

However, what I was thinking about this morning, was the after effects of 9/11 on our schools. How could we ever feel safe again? How could we ever get back to normal? We were all given a case of water to keep in our classrooms in case we had to go into lockdown mode from another terrorist attack. Those teachers whose classrooms were in portable buildings outside were given plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal off their doors as best as possible. Of course, the portable buildings were outside of the school building so then the question became: what about the bathrooms? Those teachers in the portable buildings were given 5 gallon buckets, toilet paper, and shower curtains for privacy. HOW I WISH I WAS KIDDING.

The point is, in crazy circumstances, there often is no perfect solution.

We are living in such times today. With the on-going pandemic, schools are going to have to make a lot of “Plan B” type decisions. I do not envy the job of these decision-makers. I do not envy the jobs of the teachers and aides who will implement these policies. And I do not wish for things to be this way for our children. (And remember, terrorist attack plans are not at the forefront of our thinking when we do back-to-school plans today.)

No one really knows for certain what back to school will look like this year. In my home state of Texas, the state education agency has said that masks nor COVID-19 testing will be mandated. The governor has said students will return to school in the fall.

To quote Genie (from Aladdin), “The deal is in the details.”

What will school look like? What will be expected of students and staff? Will you feel safe sending your children to school?

Perhaps this is the first time you have ever thought about NOT sending your child to school. Perhaps you have been disenchanted with the school system for some time and this is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Perhaps you have thought about homeschooling.

Every parent will have to make a decision in the next couple of months on what their children will be doing when school starts back. I’m afraid further decisions may have to be made throughout the year as data changes.

I KNOW that homeschooling is not for everyone. However, I think more people will consider it just now than normally would. If you find that you cannot stomach the situation your children will be in this fall, please come back here for help. We are going to cover it all. When you finish here, I believe you will be able to make an informed decision, and hopefully be at peace with your family’s path.

And here’s hoping that there are no 5 gallon buckets in the plan.


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