TOPLINE: The Biden Administration must stop following the teachers unions and start following the science. The CDC has made it clear that schools can safely reopen for in-person learning. Dr. Fauci has said the benefits outweigh the risks. Students simply can’t be forced to wait any longer to get back in classrooms. Their mental health and futures depend on it.

Across the country, parents are speaking out regarding the severe consequences their children are facing due to a complete lack of leadership and accountability from their local leaders. Last week, Whip Scalise, House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), Co-Chair of the Doctor’s Caucus Congressman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), and Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) hosted an Open the Schools Coalition phone call uniting hundreds of parents advocating for safely reopening schools for full time in-person learning. In communities where schools are closed, child abuse and neglect, mental health issues and suicide, and failing grades are increasing. This is unacceptable and our nation’s children deserve better from their leaders.

Dozens of families have shared how school closures are negatively impacting their children on the republicanwhip.gov/schools “SHARE YOUR STORY” web portal. These parents are pleading with their leaders to step up, follow the science, and safely reopen schools for in-person learning now. See stories from across the country below or click here.

“I am horrified, sad and desperate for some measure of consistency and routine for my kids. My older son has had so very little peer interaction since March 2020. My children are dispirited and unmotivated, and I am beyond disappointed with the Department of Education, our elected officials and the rest of the characters acting out this tragedy.”

—JULIANNE | NEW YORK

“As a parent of two elementary aged kids I strongly believe they have been away for too long. They are starting to be ok with just being stagnant and non productive. Teachers are amazing, they are helping as best they can with what resources are available to them. However, their hands are tied. My children, as well as so many more are losing out on vital in school and classroom time… I would like the children to return to full time in school as soon as possible.”

—ELIZABETH | PENNSYLVANIA

 


“I have two junior students. They have become different teenagers in the past year. Untrusting of what adults say they are doing to get school back in session and excepting of the circumstances they have been dealt. They don’t care enough to want to go back to school.”

—MICHELLE | CALIFORNIA

“My daughter is 11 and in sixth grade. She is currently hybrid which is 2 days a week in school the rest of the week is remote. She is struggling academically but my biggest concern is her mental and emotional well being. It is heartbreaking to watch your child become depressed because she is isolated from her friends and teachers. She keeps saying she just wants to be with her friends to talk, laugh and just hang out… They need to be back in school.”

—LISA | NEW HAMPSHIRE


“I have a seven year old daughter who is in first grade. Her school has been hybrid two days a week since October. She has been suffering from anxiety since last spring. She takes medication to sleep at night now. On the days she is e-learning at home she has emotional meltdowns, which are impossible to handle while I am trying to do my full time job at home. She is a smart kid, but this has taken an emotional toll on her, and I am not sure she will ever bounce back. I have tried to get help, but it seems that since she is still succeeding academically no one else is concerned. We are strongly considering private school or home school for next year if things don’t change, because this is not working. Today she told me that she was ‘trying to not be broken,’ which was shocking. I don’t even know what to do to help her at this point.”

—CARISA | ILLINOIS

 


“My son has been remote learning since the onset of this Covid dilemma. He has struggled emotionally, scholastically, and physically, since schools have been closed, open for a week, closed for months, opened for a week, closed. He is definitely hurting, not having social/physical interaction with his friends, teammates (he’s on the football team) and teachers. Not having the schools open has been very detrimental to him surviving this harsh world, because he doesn’t have that interaction, he doesn’t have the relationships he loved, loves, with his peers, teachers, and friends. It is literally draining him from the inside out. Enough with the nonsense of teachers being given the opportunity to continue to not teach and be the driving force behind many of our children’s education.”

—JOHN | PENNSYLVANIA

“My 4 year old has autism, and he did NOT receive the services at all last spring. Just 3 emails. And his district wanted to do his to do a virtual preschool this fall. Because I am a teacher and know the rules, I was able to force the issue and they are paying for him to attend a private preschool in person.”

—GLENDA | OREGON

“Working parents with a kindergartner who is supposed to be learning to read and write. This can’t happen for him in hybrid and we need schools open. Other schools are open. It needs to be the same rules for the all schools. Either 100% remote or 100% in person with safety measures in place. The CDC and Fauci have said schools are the safest place for our children.”

—CIARA | NEW YORK

 



“I have three children, my kindergartner is in school four days, my 3rd and 5th graders are only in school two days. All three are completely miserable and burned out on ‘school from home.’ My kindergartner refuses to participate in zoom calls on her day at home, and my older kids complain EVERY DAY how they hate school from home. My 3rd grader is missing assignments and I don’t even know about it until he’s really far behind. Our teachers are doing their absolute best but we need to have these kids in school five days. We are approaching a year of this nonsense, it is time to stop. Our district did testing and it was clear that these kids are not getting sick or spreading COVID. Meanwhile, my state has strip clubs open and is discussing plans to reopen amusement parks and overnight camps. Where are our priorities?!”

—ALICIA | NEW YORK

“Being a single parent it has been somewhat tough at times. Internet in my area is less than satisfactory and I would feel better if my son was at school. I really don’t understand why there are no sports being played this year. The kids need the mentoring they get from the coaches especially 8th graders about to go to high school but other schools are participating in sports.”

—GERALD | NORTH CAROLINA

“My daughter has been remotely learning for about a year now. She is depressed and missing her friends. We have looked in to going to private school but the cost is so high and many other parents are pulling their kids out of public school to send to private which makes the competition to get in very fierce in such a small town.”

—FAITH | CALIFORNIA

“We are an active duty military family that had to do a cross country move during the pandemic. Our children have not been able to start school or make many friends since moving. I have twin boys with IEPs that have not had services for almost a year now. I also have an older daughter who is on the spectrum and significantly behind. She is going to private school part time which has wiped out 12 years of college savings for her. Our kids need to go back to school. My children cannot handle virtual and are homeschooling now but it is a battle daily. They’ve been getting more and more angry and aggressive due to being stuck home with no social or academic improvement. Open schools for the full five days.”

—VIRGINIA | MARYLAND


“It was an EVERY DAY meltdown and fight with lots of tears to try to get my almost six year old to get on the computer. It was hard to have him sit there, not fiddle with his thumbs or play with toys while trying to get him to pay attention. The stress on me was taking a toll. I could not keep living my life like this. It was constantly a fight – screaming and yelling. Why was i punishing my son, forcing him to sit in front of a screen all day? I finally had the last straw and withdrew him from the public school system. I now homeschool him and I do not regret my decision one bit! I love the flexibility, the freedom of time and classwork taught, and my relationship with my son can now be repaired. The damage this remote ‘learning’ has done to our kids is a tragedy.”

—GINA | NEW JERSEY

“We have been open since August. This is my 31st year of teaching. I am not saying it was a walk in the park, but these teacher’s unions are not looking out for children. We try to keep our social distance as much as possible without fancy plexiglass dividers, we wear our masks, students play outside, we eat in our classroom, and enjoy and make the best of our time at school. I have had students who had to quarantine and we accommodate them as needed. Students who were in quarantine, were exposed at home or out of school. Our school never shut down because of outbreaks. Our rooms are sanitized twice daily. We have lots of hand sanitizer. If these people need to know what to do, please send them down to south Louisiana. There is no reason for children not to be in school.”

—ADRIENNE | LOUISIANA

“We are on two days in person and three days home. My son who is 6 years old cried every morning before school. His days at home learning are horrible as he doesn’t not want to do school work. Zoom class on Wednesday with a bunch of 5 year olds is ridiculous. You cannot even hear the teacher speak. SEND THEM BACK FULL TIME. FIVE DAYS A WEEK.”

—KAYLA | NEW YORK

BOTTOM LINE: President Biden pledged to reopen schools in 100 days and follow the science, but instead he has broken this promise and followed the radical unions’ lead. The President knows school closures are a national emergency but he is enabling it. It’s past time for President Biden to put the needs of students first and take the steps necessary to reopen America’s classrooms and have teachers instruct students in-person.