I was at the gym early Wednesday morning thinking about Yukon School Board President Suzanne Cannon’s decision to be the only school board member that voted NO on the question of re-opening our schools and bringing the kids back into the classrooms.
The plan had been for the kids to start returning to classrooms after Fall Break in mid-October, however Board members have been fielding calls and emails from parents demanding their kids go back to the classroom.
Now, here is my observation about Suzanne. First off, and I will be straight forward with you, Suzanne is older than me.
That means I respect her. She has been there, done that and bought the T-shirt. Second off, Suzanne reminds me, in some ways, of longtime Yukon School Board President Dixie Ritz who I think had served on the school board since Dr. Hugh Scott fired his pistol and declared, “Oklahoma is a state.”
That means she knows more about what is going on with these kids and the school system than I do. Third, Suzanne is very analytical. (She gets that from being a Licensed Practicing Counselor for 35 years and having earned a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma.)
Fourth, Suzanne has thought about the repercussions of what will happen when we send these children back to the classrooms way too early.
Now, here is the way I see it. I am going to agree with Suzanne on this one.
I believe returning the kids to classrooms just a few weeks into this new school year is not the right decision. Just this week, Mustang Public Schools announced the death of a faculty member who died from complications from COVID-19. And to make matters worse, they decided not to reveal the name of the faculty member.
Public Schools are not owned by the administration. They are owned by the State of Oklahoma and that makes them public domain. What if this person who died has been in contact with your children or grandchildren? Would you want to know about it? Would you want to know who it is? I’m sorry this person died, and I won’t reveal their name since they are in the Mustang School District, however, if we (God Forbid) have this same situation happen here in our Yukon Public School system after we reopen the classrooms, this newspaper will report the entire story including the person’s name who died. It is the right thing to do in this unprecedented time.
Now back to Suzanne. Mrs. Cannon also knows some of the types of parents we have in the Yukon Public School System. Some of them are very litigious. While our school board members are all covered under a professional liability insurance policy, Suzanne knows that it could be Shark Week for several years.
That simply means that if we (God Forbid) have any children die due to contracting COVID-19 in the classrooms , that the Yukon Public School Board, Superintendent and faculty could end up in court (professionally and personally) facing a big list of shark attorneys and a wrongful death lawsuit or lawsuits. (I hope this is not the case.)
I believe Suzanne had heard from more parents who did not want their kids to go back to the classrooms than she heard did want them back in the classrooms. She voted “NO” for the right reasons.
I know for sure we have parents in the Yukon School District who are not equipped or educated enough to help teach their children the many lessons that a professional teacher provides in a classroom setting. This pandemic and the situation it has caused is so unfortunate. It is tough for everyone.
I have two daughters in college. They are both taking all their classes on ZOOM. One is taking 20 hours and the other is taking 15 hours.
I advised them to only go on campus if necessary. Just like my own children, I think it is just too early to send these kids back into classrooms and force these teachers to ensure they are wearing masks. I think Suzanne Cannon was thinking the same thing.
Back in March, we heard how our health officials were telling our college age kids to not congregate on beaches and in bars during Spring Break.
Look what happened. The numbers of positive cases spiked upward, and the outbreak only grew. I just can’t imagine how we are going to be able to control this thing when we send 8,000 children back into tight quarters and expect nothing to happen except learning.
I realize many of you are done with the COVID-19…..what we all have to remember is that COVID-19 is not yet done with us.
Suzanne fired her Cannon. Let’s hope this Coronavirus doesn’t fire back at our children.
Thanks so much for reading. I will see you next Saturday. Would you like a Progress?
Yukon Progress Publisher Randy K. Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (405) 517-5168.