Letter: The Forum needs to ask tougher questions

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In the recent Forum editorial, “ We all have a stake in getting kids safely back to school ,” you gloss over the tough questions and instead leave the reader asking for more, much more.

Rather than explaining the current “unprecedented health crisis,” and the “huge challenges,” it has posed to all of us on many fronts like we are children who need to be back in school this fall, you should have been asking for accountability and transparency from the local district school boards. While I cannot speak to the Moorhead or West Fargo districts as I do not reside in their cities, I certainly have questions about the Fargo district’s return to school plan.

For example, why does the district think that two or three days of in-class attendance for elementary level students is an acceptable risk but not four or five? How are you protecting the staff and teachers any more with 50% capacity in the elementary schools when they will still see 100% of their students over the course of the week? How can Fargo Public Schools say that it is acceptable for students to travel to daycare or learning centers from multiple schools where they will have numerous uncontrolled contacts in uncontrolled settings and then return to school the next week, but in turn tell us that it is not possible to place a normal class size in a controlled setting with controlled access and controlled contact for a nearly normal school week? Also, why did enrollment in the virtual academy close before it was announced what level Fargo Public Schools would return to class at this fall? If the school district’s own survey showed that most parents wanted their children back in school this fall, but the staff survey showed the staff wanted hybrid instruction, why aren’t we in class? Who is really running the show in the Fargo Public School District?

Look, at this point, I have said enough and asked enough. I am not an expert in education, writing editorials, letters to the editor, or managing a pandemic. However, stepping back and looking at the published editorial from The Forum, I wish you would have asked these questions, especially to the Fargo Public School District.

These are tough times with many challenges. You were correct in saying, “Tough Questions. Tough Answers. It’s important to get this right.” Please, make sure those questions are being asked, those answers are being published and that we are pushing one of our most important institutions to get it right.

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