Should Schools Reopen? Based On Your Answer, Here’s What Kind Of Parent You Must Be


After months without school, parents all over the country are starting to feel like they’ve had just a liiiiiiiiitle too much together-time with their children. As such, parents’ initial gut reaction to schools reopening is “OH PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, TAKE THESE CHILDREN BACK!” 


But it’s more complicated than that. 

While we’d all love for a regular old run-of-the-mill school year for our children, that’s not in the cards yet. Even in districts contemplating a full reopening, new precautions are being put in place we would never have imagined prior to this March. Meanwhile, many districts aren’t even entertaining the idea of a full reopening at all. 

School districts all around the country have been sending out parent surveys to gauge how families feel about returning to school this fall. The goal is to get input about the 5,320 different plans districts are currently considering.  

If you’ve spent any time around the Facebook comments sections, you surely know that the people who hang around there often have some *ahem* strong feelings. They’re also quick to let you know what those feelings are and to remind you what an incompetent fool you are if you don’t share their views. 

Rather than wait for your school district to interpret the results of your survey responses, I’ve decided to go ahead and do it for you. I’ll be assessing your values and worth as a person according to Janet’s opinions from the comments section.  

Let’s dive in, shall we?

You want a full return to school, five days per week.

Clearly, you have no respect for life. You value normalcy and peace and quiet over your child’s health and well being. 

You only had children so you could ship them off to public school for forty hours each week. A good parent would want to keep their children home as long as possible. A good parent would homeschool. A good parent would support distance learning. 

Surely your preferences have nothing to do with your need to work or your careful assessment of risk. You are incredibly selfish and refuse to take this virus seriously.

Also, you obviously hate the elderly and the immuno-compromised.

Shame on you.

You favor full distance learning

Apparently you are a masochist, preferring to willingly repeat the train wreck that was distance learning earlier this year. 

You have no regard for the value of education. Evidently, you also have no concept of child development and how necessary socialization is for a child’s well-being. 

I can’t believe you’re willing to let fear control you like this. Turn off the news and go live your life, snowflake!

Shame on you.

You favor a return to school with a reduced school day or rotating schedule

Well, well, well. It must be nice not to have to worry about what to do with your children when schools are closed. How about showing a little consideration for families who rely on schools for meals and child care? 

Your preference for this option has nothing to do with a desire for smaller classes or to accommodate social distancing. You’re just selfish. You want a reduced schedule so you can vacation and relax on the days off.

Besides, why are we paying these teachers soooooo much money if they’re only teaching half-time? We want our tax dollars back!

Shame on you.

And that’s not all.

Buses or no buses? 

“Oh please! In my day, we walked uphill to school both ways in the snow. Buses shouldn’t even factor into this discussion!”

“If kids can’t be 200 feet apart, buses aren’t safe!”

Masks or no masks? 

“The only day your kids should be in masks is Halloween!”

“If you’re not wearing a mask, you’re a selfish jerk with no regard for anyone but yourself!”

Recess or no recess?

“Kids NEED recess! You monster!”

“Recess makes social distancing almost impossible. What kind of reckless buffoon thinks that’s a good idea?”

What about the arts?

“Without music and art, why even bother sending kids to school? You’ll turn them into little robots!”

“Math and science are what really matters. Who cares about the artsy-fartsy stuff?!”

And on and on and on it goes.

By now, you’ve surely noticed that you can’t win in this game. Returning to school will be relatively simple for some families and fraught with concerns for others. There is no road map for this, so let’s all agree to show one another grace. 

If you can’t do that, well… shame on you.


  1. Thank you so much for writing this! I don’t know what the right answer is, I want kids to be safe, and I want them to learn and to have their needs met, is that such a wild concept? I know that my family is very, very #blessed that I was already staying home (hi, disabled mama here), so kiddo not going to school was not the end of the world. Yes, there were still huge challenges even though my kid actually took to e-learning like a fish to water. But I know students who failed, parents who ended up losing their jobs trying to balance e-learning and zoom meetings. I know kids who can’t wear masks due to autism, but e-learning isn’t working, they’ll fall further behind unless the school figures something out. I don’t want to risk teachers health, but there has to be a variety offered to meet the varied needs of the students and their families. Maybe some kids need to be in class, and others can stay home, I don’t know. I do think we should leave it to the educators though, and stop the judging. It’s not helping anyone.


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