This is Sharon Poch from Lancaster, a member of the Nashoba Regional School Committee (Lancaster, Bolton, Stow).
Nashoba Regional High School has been remote for almost a year now. Children nationwide continue to deal with rocketing suicide rates, academic struggles, child abuse, and other negative consequences of social isolation. But according to what Sharon Poch said the other night at a School Committee meeting it’s really not a big deal for kids to be put in this situation because the cowardly adults in their lives would prefer to hide from a virus that has no chance whatsoever of harming a single child in this state. In her own words, “they are not suffering.”
That whole thing was a big “fuck you” to any parent who has the audacity to complain about their child being denied an education for an entire calendar year. It’s a declaration that they will continue to hurt your children because there are other kids somewhere in the world who have it worse. There are kids in Rwanda who are starving, therefore kids in Lancaster can suck it up and never go to school until Sharon Poch feels safe.
I encourage you consider a broader perspective. It is true that many children who are suffering. Kids who live in poverty and do not have food to eat. Children who are facing live threatening illnesses. Children who live in homes with an addictive parent. Children who suffer abuse.
Yea, we should think about children who suffer from abuse. Like the ones doctors say are suffering in silence because they have no teachers to advocate for them when they’re sitting at home staring at a computer.
“Often child abuse and neglect is something that happens at home or in the neighborhood and so the numbers are down because so many times it’s going to be a teacher or counselor at school to report the problem,” said Dr. Seifert.
Sure, your kid is crying and thinking of self harming due to 12 months of social isolation, but at least they’re not being abused. That would be bad.
This might be the most elitist, privileged thing I’ve ever heard:
“I suspect though, that in our community there are very few who experience suffering. The circumstances present challenges to our children. Academically, socially, and emotionally. They create hardships that our children would not face in a more traditional school year. They force children out of their comfort zones. We wish things were different, but they are not suffering.”
She “suspects” that no one is suffering in the community. Has she spoken to every parent in the community? Nope. But they live in Bolton so clearly it’s not possible for their kids to suffer from mental health issues. Mental health can’t touch your town if Route 117 goes through it. High school seniors can just forgo their entire senior year, never have a prom, never play sports, never have a graduation, and never get to really experience one of the most memorable years of their lives. It’s not a big deal really, it’s just forcing kids “out of their comfort zones.”
And it doesn’t get any more out of touch than this.
“If your children are suffering do not wait another minute, reach out now. There is help available to your family.”
Yea, negligent parents who aren’t feeding their kids, or who are physically abusing them should reach out for help for their family. That’s what abusive parents do. This woman is really in touch with the realities of day to day life outside of her home.
She also really doesn’t want parents complaining about what’s happening in front of their kids, lest the children find out that the adults in their lives are intentionally making them suffer.
They hear us when we say that this is a lost school year.
It is a lost school year.
They hear us when we say that they have fallen far behind academically and question how and if this can be made up.
They have fallen far behind.
They hear us when we say that the loss of education this school year has cost our children years of their lives.
It has cost children years of their lives they’ll never get back.
Are these them messages we wish for our children to take from this year? Because your child is hearing these messages and they believe them.
Yes, these are the messages we should tell our children. They deserve to know that they’re getting screwed.
They foster a mindset that says that these losses have happened to them and that they do not have any power to change them.
These losses have happened to them and they have no power to change them. Better not expose children to reality. That would be bad.
We must stop focusing on loss. Overcoming challenges creates resilience.
Yea, why can’t you kids just focus on being resilient instead of focusing on how you’re being robbed of the thing that make life worth living?
I love this line of thinking too. How exactly are we being resilient by hiding from a virus? In World War 2 people were resilient by working in factories and fighting overseas. They were resilient because they risked their lives in order to make sure that life could go on as normal. What challenges are we overcoming if we sit in our homes and hide every time a new virus comes along? Because that’s the new precedent that has been set. Just wait until the next one comes along that can spread up to 10 feet, requires 5 masks, and only has a 98.9% recover rate.
Then again when you’re a self-employed “science specialist” who can work from home how can you be expected to relate to people who don’t have that luxury?
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