“I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around.” — Pete Townsend
Working for one school while your child goes to another has a number of disadvantages. It can be tough to plan events around the year because the calendars may not sync up. However, they innately know this on some level. On one occasion our principal was really pressuring us about the importance of a local election. The district had a bond issue that needed to pass. Finally, someone had to tell him that no one from our office actually lived in the district. He probably knew all along, but was compelled to politic out of habit.
It’s been situations like COVID that have really made living in a different district interesting. I get to see the differences between where I work and where our daughter goes to school. Naturally, with every major difference there are stark similarities.
Transparency is a huge difference. My sister works in a third school district in the area. She had a positive test come back on a student in her classroom. The principal didn’t officially identify the student (since that would be illegal) but allowed her to guess until she guessed correctly. Our daughter’s school will tell us when students test positive, teachers test positive, or visitors test positive. When students test positive they’ll even tell you how many from each grade level tested positive.
The school district where I work tends to skew on the conservative end. We will find out that a homosapien on our campus has tested positive. I suppose if we saw a Neanderthal testing positive then maybe that would provide too much of a clue. Last year, teachers were told if someone tested positive in their room. To my knowledge, no one has gotten such notification this year.
All of this builds to this moment. The Omicron variant has wreaked havoc across the country and positive cases have risen to the highest level of the entire pandemic. My daughter’s district reported that 12 percent of employees surveyed were either currently positive, had been positive at some point during the break, or were waiting on results of a test. Of course, the same could be true in my district, but we would never know such a thing.
In the movie Animal House Dean Wormer is talking with one of his student toadies when he announces that the evil fraternity will be on probation. The student tells him they already are on probation. So, he amends the statement to tell us they are on “secret double probation.” What exactly did that mean? No one quite knew.
A similar thing is happening in all of our schools. Some districts are making a huge deal over how threat levels are increasing as we move from threat level beige to threat level light brown. As you might suspect, the difference is minimal at best. It’s minimal because the governor has forced it to be minimal. We can recommend masks. Now masks are strenuously recommended. If you don’t wear one we will be compelled to strenuously suggest that you wear one again.
When we were kids we actually practiced for situations when a bomb might explode or one of the nearby plants blow up. It always involved bending underneath our desk with a handy textbook being placed at the base of our neck. Such a book would have to be strong to withstand a nuclear blast. One could imagine the school disintegrating around the kids, but they would be safe with “See Spot Run” comfortably protecting their heads from the carnage going on around them.
The collective response to this thing seems somehow similar. I’m sure the heavy cleaning of the building does something. Certainly, instances of the seasonal flu have gone down since COVID began. Cleaner living does promote overall health I suppose. However, one can’t ignore the foolishness of it all. We can’t seem to all collectively do what should be done. Our freedom won’t allow it or some such nonsense like that. Shared sacrifice? The hell you say. I’m an American. In ‘Murica we go our own way. We do it all the way to our grave if we have to.