The current strategy of the Fargo Public Schools administration and board is to look the other way and hope that COVID-19 will go away. The alarming aspect of this lack of action places the professional educators, paraprofessionals and students of Fargo Public Schools in harms way. It is only a matter of time before Fargo Public School is going to have to deal with a COVID-19-related death that could have been prevented. I can only imagine Dr. Gandhi in a press release, passing on condolences to the deceased teacher’s family regarding their unfortunate loss followed by the comment that we have done the best that we could do and it is a tough virus to fight.
Unfortunately, had you moved to distance learning model, you could have prevented the tragedy, but instead you chose to de-value the lives of your educators, paraprofessionals and even your students by keeping the hybrid and in-person modes operating for as long as possible. For what purpose?
The numbers do not lie. As the risk grows, keeping these in-person teaching models in place, sooner than you think, one of your educators, paraprofessionals and/or student is going to become ill and die. Is keeping the school open more important? The heck with underlying conditions as your excuse... they’re dead! How do you explain that? You ignored the obvious.
Keeping your in-person teaching models in place, at the same time your mitigation controls are being overwhelmed is like asking everyone to remain in a burning building to take advantage of the classroom resources. Then, when you think the roof is going to collapse, you scream everybody out and hope that nobody gets hurt.
The fuel driving this surge is the result of reckless individuals who chose to ignore the need to wear masks, socially distance, wash hands, continue to hang out in large groups and generally disregard the warnings. COVID-19 is a serious and deadly virus and is not to be taken lightly. Are we by virtue of short-sighted management policies going to perpetuate this bad behavior and cause an unnecessary family tragedy? What did Dr. Deborah Birx say about the behavior she observed during her tour of North Dakota and now we are the COVID-19 National hotspot.
Right now, the only defense against an invisible enemy is to implement a distance learning model immediately. Let’s start thinking about our families, our educators, our students and their safety. Let’s start protecting them now. We can’t wait until the vaccine arrives in North Dakota, we have to act now!
Every parent, significant other of an educator and/or paraprofessional should call the Fargo Public School district office and tell them to set aside current learning models and do the right thing. Implement the distance learning model now before it's too late. Each life under your care and supervision is important and the Fargo Public Schools administration should take this responsibility seriously and treat all with concern, respect and compassion in this pandemic.
Fisher lives in Fargo.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.