Keep America’s schools open

Dan Reinhard


She has long ago passed on, but I remember when my sixth grade teacher Mrs. Clark, caught me running in the hallway where I cut in front of other children in the cafeteria lunch line. She grabbed my shoulder and said: “Danny, report back to the classroom after lunch.” When I did, she handed me a piece of chalk and a piece of paper with a long sentence to write on the chalkboard repeatedly for 25 times. And I felt some anger knowing she had taken away my favorite school time: recess. She didn’t go to the teacher’s lounge like all other teachers did, she sat at her desk reading a large book as I toiled at the humiliating lesson she tried to teach to a rowdy boy. Someday, when I travel back to where she rests in peace, I’ll visit her gravesite and thank her for all the good things she gave to me…even though I hated sentence diagramming…

I don’t know why most of us can remember the faces and names of every teacher that ever stood before us, but we can, especially the real devoted ones. I don’t know why there are not enough good quality movies about dedicated teachers as was portrayed in the 1988 movie: “Stand and Deliver.” Or despite COVID fears, why teachers unions around the country fail to comprehend the significance of keeping the classroom doors open for the most precious element of a civilized society: a top quality education for our children. Let’s not forget, our children are the most resilient members of our society.

During his first Press Conference the President of the United States was asked: why are there so many school closures around the country? I paraphrase, but he responded to the reporter, you are all reading the wrong news. Then he performed his patented whisper into the microphone and said: 95% of the schools in this country are now open…then repeated that several times. Not sure, but I suspect the reporters thought that to be a significant statistic. Do all of us realize as of 2020, there are 130,930 K-12 schools in the United States? With the application of grade school math that means that there still are 6,546 still closed throughout the country! Maybe I come from the “Old School” but I believe in the present COVID environment, that closing one school is one too many.

There are far too many reports of child suicides, depression and violent behavior cases that have been documented around the country as a result of school closures. I don’t know how many other cases there are of a child that won’t receive at least one good meal a day at school. You see, I never told Mrs. Clark the true reason why I was running to be first in line at the school cafeteria…


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