As the debates over school reopening continue to heat up among parents, teachers, school leaders, the community, etc., ROC for Educational Freedom feels the need to reiterate a few facts for the public so they are not "misinformed" by those in the community that may not support our group or more importantly the reopening of schools.
1. Do you support reopening options for all?
We absolutely support options for all and believe families should choose what is best for their children. We support a full school reopening – 5 day a week schedule and we also support virtual options for those who may be immunocompromised or fearful of returning to school. Each family needs to do what works best for them.
What we don’t support are those who are fearful or who don’t want to return to school assuming everyone should remain at home even as the “science” and healthcare professionals are indeed saying it is safe to open the schools.
2. Do you believe in safety protocols if necessary to keep children and staff safe?
We absolutely support safety protocols within reason if the “data” and “science” proves it necessary. Currently, New York State’s guidelines for reopening are overstepping and do not correlate with the reopening of schools in many countries who did not see an uptick in COVID-19 cases upon reopening their doors with much more reasonable protocols. Many countries took more reasonable measures such as 1 meter (3.2 ft) distancing and limited masking for young children into consideration (which the AAP is fully supporting here in the United States).
The data is showing that children are not greatly affected by COVID-19 and are not who are transmitting this disease. Transmission from child to child and child to adult is proving to be quite low according to the AAP, CDC, and numerous private physicians throughout the country and the world.
3. Do you want the schools to open with zero safety measures?
As much as we would love schools to go back to pre-covid operation, we actually support the idea of better cleaning procedures, more routine hand washing, etc. What parent wouldn't? We are simply asking for reasonable safety measures, not ones that will make the full return to school merely impossible logistically due to 6ft distancing measures or policies that are so overstepping children will feel isolated and/or be emotionally impacted.
4. Do you "hate" teachers?
We do NOT "hate" teachers at all. We need teachers. Saying teachers are “essential” is a compliment. Teachers - our community and children need you! Our schools need you! Our group has numerous dedicated teachers who are fighting just as hard as the parents to get their classroom doors open.
What we do not care for are teachers who continue to push their negative and unsubstantiated opinions on others or have an agenda that is not supported by “science” and facts. The science shows child to child as well as child to adult transmission is LOW and schools can safely reopen. Unfortunately, good teachers are now being lumped in with teachers whose agendas push for not reopening. Our group has continued to discourage our members from generalizing that all teachers fall into this negative category – MANY good teachers exist who are ready and want to be back in the classroom! THANK YOU to those teachers!
Regarding teachers unions both here in New York State and nationwide, we (along with many others across the country) are absolutely unhappy and disgusted with union leaders who are using the reopening of schools as a political tool to leverage a plethora of demands in our communities that have nothing to do with our children and schools. It is important to note that this has been a pattern for decades and only continues to show the unions lack of care for children.
5. Does your founder support all views of the Facebook group?
With almost 4,000 members and counting, a social media group is bound to be full of opinions and comments of varying ideas. We are seeing over 50 posts a day submitted from members and thousands of comments added to those threads daily. The opinions/comments of other group members are not personally endorsed by the founder of the group nor do we “police” every comment in the group. Every member of the group is entitled to their own opinion and again, being a social media group full of discussions going on simultaneously in all different posts, not every comment represents the founder or the mission of the group’s efforts.
6. Are you a “political action group/committee”?
Although we are honored to think we could become that organized in just two short months -- Absolutely not! There is NO ROOM FOR POLITICS with children. What is best for the children should be everyone’s #1 concern. What we are is a grass roots effort started by parents, teachers, taxpayers, physicians, and lawyers who are concerned with the future of our schools and children’s education.
7. What is ROC for Educational Freedom hoping for?
Honesty. Transparency. Accountability. Options for all. And most importantly…what is best for the children and our communities!