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Safe reopening of schools must be higher priority | READER COMMENTARY

Southampton Middle School teacher Betsy Colgan, left, and Michelle Willoughby, right, have a few words as Colgan, other teachers and supporters participate in the Harford County Education Association car caravan while Willoughby and others with Reopen Harford County Schools and other reopen schools grooups gather Monday evening outside Harford County Public Schools A.A. Roberty building on Hickory Avenue in Bel Air during the Board of Education meeting.
Southampton Middle School teacher Betsy Colgan, left, and Michelle Willoughby, right, have a few words as Colgan, other teachers and supporters participate in the Harford County Education Association car caravan while Willoughby and others with Reopen Harford County Schools and other reopen schools grooups gather Monday evening outside Harford County Public Schools A.A. Roberty building on Hickory Avenue in Bel Air during the Board of Education meeting. (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Thank you Daniela C. Rodriguez and Michelle R. Kaufman for your astute summary of our current crisis in education in the pandemic (”When Md. bars and restaurants are a higher priority than schools, everyone loses,” Dec. 28). If the measure of a society is how we nurture children, our most precious resource, then we are failing miserably.

Public schools could open safely if they were made a priority and given the necessary support. Instead, school districts are routinely maligned and the inequality faced by children and families of limited resources is ever more glaring. The private schools with their deep pockets are humming along with enrollments that are up, thanks to families with the money to leave the public schools, further exacerbating the deep divide.

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As the authors note, it has been confirmed that the virus is spread in bars and restaurants. If the government gives millions of dollars every year to farmers to reduce crop output, why can’t we subsidize the owners of our local trattoria to stay closed so that we can open schools? Restaurants are open and failing daily anyway! It is my hope that, as a community, we can muster the fortitude and determination to do what is right for the next generation.

Maryjo D. Kuhn, Lutherville

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