School reopening plan in Vermont: Masks for students and teachers, too

This article by Greg Sukiennik originally appeared June 18 in the Bennington Banner.

MONTPELIER — Mandatory masks for students and teachers, health screenings at the bus stop, assigned seats on the bus and plenty of cleaning and disinfecting are all part of the plan to bring students back to school buildings for the start of the 2020-21 school year, according to guidance issued by the state Agency of Education.

What educators, students and parents should also prepare for is the likelihood that things could change in the face of a fluid situation, Education Secretary Daniel French said Thursday.

“We’re going to have to have flexibility,” French said, adding that educators know that future outbreaks of the virus are a possibility. “Districts will have to move among and between dispositions to manage outbreaks or just to manage logistic challenges.”

The guidance, developed by French, Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine and a panel of 17 educators, pediatricians, psychologists and state officials, sets the framework for a fall return with social distancing and precautions in place, and regular testing of students and staff for coronavirus. It was published Wednesday, a week after French outlined the general concepts at a daily COVID-19 briefing held by Gov. Phil Scott.

Read full article at the Bennington Banner.

(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Nenad Stojkovic

5 thoughts on “School reopening plan in Vermont: Masks for students and teachers, too

  1. It’s ridiculous to have children wear masks. Children are rarely affected by Covid-19, even less so than by a normal flu. Did we make children wear masks during flu outbreaks?

    In Sweden, the population has more-or-less normalized with no outrageous shutdowns as happened in the US, and Sweden never shut down primary schools. The vast majority of the population walks around without masks. Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs have been and are open. Here’s a video that describes life in Sweden’s second-largest city, with a population of about one million: This looks like normal life! What have we done so wrong?

    Sweden’s death rate from Covid-19 per population is less than that of Spain, Italy, the UK, and Belgium. Life has gone on in Sweden largely as normal, without the huge destruction to the economy that occurred in the US. No one can say that Covid-19 hasn’t reached Sweden, and no one can say that the virus isn’t active there. Yet they handled it much, much better than we have. If Sweden can do it, why can’t Vermont?

    What we can learn from the Swedish experiment is that Covid-19 is neither as contagious as we believed nor as serious as we act for younger adults. I say “as serious as we act” because we knew long ago that Covid-19 is rarely a serious disease for those under 65, yet we act as if everyone is going to catch it and die from it if we abandon our ridiculous social distancing and masking rules. The fact of the lack of wild-fire-like contagiousness, which is what we were led to believe in, is also belied by the lack of spike in infections in the local population in Florida in March, when everyone complained about irresponsible beach-goers, and by the lack of spikes in infections from the huge BLM protests.

    We’ve made a huge mistake, and our leaders at the very top, and especially the WHO and Dr. Fauci, have gravely misled us and destroyed economies and lives for no good reason at all, except for their desire to be petty dictators. Our Commissioner of Health and our Governor have been following fear-mongers and tyrants. Sweden has demonstrated that the tyrants were wrong, and this is something that knowledgeable and experienced voices have been saying all over the world, but they were ignored. The tyrants won. Now we need to take power away from them and end this utter stupidity that we call “stay safe, stay home.” The only people who need to stay home are our leaders, who’ve failed us so miserably.

  2. Good reason to home school if there ever was a reason. Too bad they didn’t show this concern for the elderly, who are actually at risk.

    Next will be bogus vaccines. A free man has domain over his own body. What will we be this fall free or slaves of the state?

  3. While certainly well intended, seems as if these regs would be a nightmare to implement and cause more problems than they were designed to solve.

  4. We already have kids who do not have effective immune systems because unlike us old guys they do not get to play outside, eat dirt and generally do real kid things. What can possibly go wrong with this B.S.

  5. Yes, School reopening plan in Vermont” Great ” Masks for students and teachers,
    and how about some hand sanitizers ??

    We all know kids are walking talking ” Petri Dishes “, better safe than sorry !!

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