FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 31, 2020
Reynolds and Trump’s Reckless School Reopenings Endanger Students, Teachers, and Families
Reynolds is following in lock-step with Trump’s rushed school reopenings without a mask mandate, putting students and teachers at risk
DES MOINES — As Governor Reynolds moves forward with forced school reopenings that defy CDC best practices and local school district control, Iowa teachers, students and families are caught in the crosshairs of a partisan agenda. Education professionals called the new demands “outlandish” as Reynolds follows in lock-step with President Trump’s rushed and chaotic decision to reopen schools across the country even as cases spike.
Coupled with Iowa’s lack of a statewide mask mandate, students, teachers, and families are being thrown under the bus because Reynolds refuses to break with Trump.
DMR: ‘There’s not a silver bullet’: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds defends not ordering a mask mandate
CBS2Iowa: “On Thursday, Reynolds outlined the threshold for when schools and districts can request to go temporarily virtual: A positivity rate of 15% or higher in a county—which is above recommendations from global and national public health experts—coupled with 10% of students absent from class.”
Trump claimed that “children are at the lowest risk” of contracted COVID-19, but the science says otherwise.
NYT: Older Children Spread the Coronavirus Just as Much as Adults, Large Study Finds
NBC: “Compared to adults, the young kids had anywhere from 10 to 100 times the amount of viral RNA in their upper respiratory tract, the study authors wrote.”
It’s clear that Trump and Reynolds’ refusal to listen to the scientists and public health experts is putting children at risk, but teachers are feeling the threat and pleading for safer standards.
Maggie Rietz, high school teacher in Davenport: “This proclamation destroyed any sense of safety I had returning to school.”
Mike Beranek, ISEA President: “If in fact a 20% positivity rate is the point at which our schools can ask for permission to close school buildings for 14 days, that means that 1 in 5 Iowans will need to test positive and perhaps experience severe to drastic consequences before we can take the steps necessary to protect the health and safety of our students, educators, and school communities. We can do better.”
KCAU: “As educators like Banks prepare to welcome students back, questions over student safety, as well as her own, remain. She suffers from asthma, putting her in a high-risk bracket for COVID-19.”
Lesa Banks, art teacher in Sioux City: “I would really like them to have that mask on, so I can get closer to them and help them. I’m not a stand-behind-the-desk teacher. I move through the classroom, and I think I would feel more comfortable if everyone had a mask on.”