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Letter: Virtual learning in Harford has reduced good students to tears | READER COMMENTARY

A glimpse into our household, which most likely resembles most households of parents and school-aged children forced into virtual learning.

Last night ended in tears. Our three sons, our 18-year-old and twin 13-year-olds were all in tears by 8 p.m. Our 18-year-old stated, “Even though I may be getting decent grades, I am breaking emotionally more and more every day. When is this all going to end? What is the point of living in a world like this?” This is out of the mouth of a child who is a Leukemia survivor. We got him through three years of chemotherapy and now he feels this life is not worth living? Unacceptable.

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As their mother, I received six different emails from six different teachers for our twins, who are typically excellent students, one of them typically always on the honor roll. These emails come every week. The messages are regarding missing assignments, lack of attention to the lessons, not showing up on time virtually, etc.

Their father and I both work full-time outside of the home. Every day I come home from work to address each email with each twin.

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One of our twins was curled up on the floor of our dining room in tears saying, “I cannot focus on what the teacher is saying, like I could when I was in the classroom. I am sick of getting scolded. I never got scolded when I was in school because I understood what the teacher was teaching. Now I am failing my classes. This is not my fault.”

We found our other twin in his bed, covered up so we could not see him crying. He did not realize we could see from his body movements under the blanket, that he was sobbing. He knew what was coming. After a frustrating day of virtual learning, he had to now go over the emails from his teachers with us and re-do most assignments ... again.

These are 13-year-old boys. They are typically such fun, loving, happy children who are currently showing numerous signs and symptoms of major depression and anxiety.

When schools began this year, both twins were failing three classes each, with virtual learning. We contacted our school counselor and principal and begged them to allow our boys to come back into the classroom for hybrid learning. While in the classroom daily for two-and-a-half weeks, each twin was able to bring those failing classes up to B’s and even A’s. After the two-and-a-half weeks of success and witnessing the beautiful spark of happiness in our boys again, Harford County Public Schools went 100% virtual learning again.

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Here we are once again, with children who are suffering academically and more importantly, emotionally.

This morning starts a new day, in tears ... again. Our family lives for the weekends, when we are not working and we can actually monitor the boys and give them the structure they need. We can finally all sit down and catch up on assignments that were not understood during the week. Our weekends should be a time to wind down and have a break from the pressures of school.

We are begging you to open our schools for those families that are more than comfortable to have our children learn in the physical classroom, rather than being in the virtual world day in and day out ... with no socialization and a despicable amount of depression, sadness, anxiety, chaos, etc.

MAUREEN HULSE

Fallston

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