Evidence has been present for well over a year that remote learning, economic shutdowns, and general panic is causing severe harm for kids.
In spite of this our so-called leaders in the political realm, public health world, and educational circles have started another round of school shutdowns.
Even The New York Times is catching on to the devastation inflicted on children. The New York Times!
It is well past time to stop the destruction we are inflicting on children.
Merely three of a growing string of articles pointing out the destruction willfully visited on school children:
- Twitter string from New York Times outlining the devastation inflicted on children.
- Column by medical doctor wondered why we have inflicted such harm on children.
- Research by NBER identifies adverse educational outcomes are a direct result of school shutdowns.
Twitter string by David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt), writer with New York Times – 1/4/21 – the Twitter string looks like extracts from a long article. Key points:
- Many kids dropped behind during the first year of the pandemic and haven’t yet caught up. Impact is disproportionately worse for Blacks, Hispanics, and poor kids.
- Accelerating level of mental health struggles. There have been “dramatic increases”in mental health visits to ERs.
- Suicide attempts are up, “slightly” for boys and “sharply” for girls. Specific stat is 51% increase from 2019 to 2021 for suspected suicide attempts amongst girls aged 12 through 17.
(In what universe is that increase in suicide attempts not a severe crisis warranting identification of the cause and requiring immediate correction? Apparently, we do not live in such a universe.)
- Gun violence against children is rising. School shootings are rising.
- Lots of schools have not returned to normal, with many aspects of normal life still canceled, such as school trips, lunches, extracurricular activity, assemblies.
- Behavioral problems on campus have increased.
Rapidly spreading omicron variant, and the apparent inability of double vaccinations and boosters to do anything to slow the spread, is making political and educational authorities think they have to shut down schools again.
Brownstone Institute, Vinay Prasad – 12/15/21 – How Could They Have Done This to the Children? – Author is a hematologist-oncologist by training. Professionally he is Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at University of California San Francisco. He has written merely 300 academic articles and only published two books. Obviously he will be dismissed as an untrained kook.
Worst damage willfully inflicted on children is shutting down schools with the fiction that education is taking place via remote learning.
“School closure was the greatest self-inflicted wound of the pandemic. Sensible European nations did not close primary school at all, or only for six weeks, but places in the USA remain closed for more than a year.”
He does not know if our kids will ever recover.
He points out this intentional damage happened only in certain places depending on the political attitude of the area and the relative power of teachers unions.
Compounding the damage is once classes were held in person school kids had to wear masks inside and outdoors. This includes recess and bad weather. Some kids have to eat lunch outside regardless of the temperature (cold) or weather conditions (rain).
A randomized controlled trial in Bangladesh found that cloths masks had no effect on transmission. Zero benefit.
Our political, public health care, and educational leaders rationalize this damage by claiming they were “following the science.”
“There is no science to support primary school closure. No science supported prolonged (>1 year) closure for any age. No science supported outdoor cloth mask mandates for young kids, and no science supported deviating from the WHO guidance. These policies meanwhile have devastating consequences for the well-being of children.”
In case you missed his point – he can find no “science” to support any of the harm inflicted on children. Everything that has been done was willful, knowing, intentional, and completely unsupported by “science.”
Author closes with an apology to future generations for the devastation willfully inflicted on children in the last two years and is continuing even today:
“If someone reads this a hundred years from now, I want to say that I am sorry. I am sorry that no organization rose to defend the interests of children. I am sorry that I personally did not do more to criticize these draconian, irrational mandates, though I did, as much as I felt I could, and as soon and as consistent as I felt I could. “
He apologizes for having failed so many children.
Wall Street Journal – 12/6/21 – Remote Learning Fails the Test – In news that is a surprise to only politicians, Public Health officials, and people with doctorates in education, research by NBER learned that lockdown rules hurt educational outcome of all students.
Even less surprising to people who thought about it at the front end of the pandemic, in schools with more remote learning, the educational levels declined far more then schools with full in-person instruction.
Destruction of education is even more noticeable amongst black and Hispanic students along with students eligible for free or subsidized lunches (that means poor kids).
The complete unsurprise – – Remote learning devastated educational outcomes, even more so for minority and poor kids.
Editorial closes with this comment:
“It will take educators years to fix the learning damage wrought by the school shutdowns, if they ever do. What a needless tragedy.”
The question we need to ask today, tomorrow, and every day for the next decade is why we let our so-called leaders inflict so much harm on so many kids.