Published in the Rio Rancho Observer on August 2, 2020
Governor Lujan Grisham announced that her administration is directing New Mexico public schools to delay the start of in-person classes. This decision is the right move.
The governor’s primary responsibility is to care for the people of New Mexico. The most critical criterion regarding school reopening is that it be safe for students, teachers, parents, and caregivers. We are in the sixth month of dealing with COVID 19. It is impossible to know the long-term effects of this disease on young children or its spread in a school setting. We must deal with this problem based on the best available evidence and science.
We know COVID 19 is a deadly, contagious, unpredictable disease. Putting children, parents, caregivers, and teachers at risk is not responsible or acceptable. Sick parents cannot care for sick children, and sick children and teachers must not be in classrooms. The state must keep all of these groups healthy to have a successful school year.
Medical professionals, educators, and Los Alamos National Laboratory working together to analyze data for the safest reopening procedure will increase the likelihood of success. Students, teachers, parents, caregivers, and the entire state will benefit from a well thought out return to the classroom.
Ann E Kepley