Let me start this by saying that given the choice, both my sons want to go back to eighth grade in the fall. As their father who watched them last year take classes online, I couldn't agree with them more. But as an objective person taking a step back, I must disagree and say it makes the most sense for New Jersey schools to remain closed until we get COVID-19 under control.

According to Michael Symons article, several lawmakers as well as the New Jersey Education Association agree.

"Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, D-Essex, said it would make more sense to use the time between now and Labor Day to collect and share information about how to get the most out of virtual learning, rather than scramble to install Plexiglas in classrooms and buses". I would ask why can't both be done since different people would be doing it?

But why go through all that physical change if this pandemic is a temporary situation?  What's the point of spending all that time and money changing classrooms for a temporary situation? Especially when the said situation could be only a few weeks or months should students start testing positive or showing signs which they definitely will.

I can see a storage room in the future filled with all the plexiglass and things used to "COVID-19 proof" the classrooms now just going to waste, like the money used to buy them. Also, why put teachers in the position of having to enforce social distancing and mask rules while trying to teach the class?

Especially with students who are troublemakers and don't listen anyway (of course we're not talking about YOUR little angel). The move here is to spend the summer making online learning the best it could possibly be. That's a tool that schools can use going forward regardless of how long this pandemic lasts. It's a tool that would eliminate snow days and could lead to bigger and better learning alternatives for students.

Right now, until we get a handle on this coronavirus, it's not worth going to all the trouble to open schools to put children at risk.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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