Open letter to administrators and governing board members of Santa Clarita public schools:
I write today to advocate for the continuation of athletic conditioning and small cohorts on high school campuses and for TK to second-grade in-person classes where waivers have been granted.
(County Public Health Director) Barbara Ferrer recently sent you a memo recommending (not REQUIRING) that you discontinue the very few on-campus student programs in place. This is based on the false premise that these programs are contributing to ICU occupancy — they ARE NOT.
Do you work for the Health Department? Do you have the authority or expertise to tell Ferrer and her cohorts how to do their jobs? No, you don’t. Then why are you allowing her to dictate your job to you?
The futures of more than 35,000 young students hang in the balance. How are they doing? According to a presentation given to the William S. Hart Union High School District board last September by Placerita Junior High Principal John Turner, not good. He presented survey results that demonstrate serious mental health issues in our youth, 95 students admitted to thoughts of suicide, 22 students admitted to attempting suicide, and 45-59% of students said they were sad and/or stressed after school closures.
So do not dare tell us that closing school programs will save lives. It will not. The new mantra, “If it saves one life from COVID, it’s worth it,” is an evil lie. The novel public health experiment of lockdowns, closures and mandates has been a colossal failure. Open your eyes. Hundreds of millions of students are safely attending schools worldwide. Private schools and day care centers are operating safely in this community! So, do not tell us that opening schools and allowing athletic conditioning will cause death by COVID. They will not.
You do not control the county hospitals, their capacity, or their staffing. Their success or failure is on them, not you. You do bear a direct responsibility for decisions you make that cause harm to the students and families in your schools. Consider that when you close public school programs, those with the financial means to do so will simply transfer to privately run day care centers, schools and sports teams. Thus, the end result will be that the students most in need will be the ones deprived of critical school services.
Please allow the programs to continue. Send the desperately needed message that you value the lives of your students — that their futures matter — and that you will not allow them to be sacrificed on the altar of failing public health policy.