Sen. Larry Stutts: ‘I think schools ought to open up, period’
While many school systems around the state are opting for online schooling-only for the first nine weeks, the debate as to whether or not schools should open in Alabama remains unsettled given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
During an interview with Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” State Sen. Larry Stutts (R-Cherokee) argued for the opening of schools.
According to Stutts, there would be consequences that go beyond the academics of schools remaining closed, which may result in societal damages in the long-term.
“I think schools ought to open up, period,” he said. “The mortality rate among young people is extremely low — way, way lower than the general population. The problem is there are implications to not having school besides the possibility of a viral illness. When you look at the percentage of children that get two meals a day at school, when you at children that may be in a less-than-ideal home situation, and you take school away from them, that’s a problem.”
“When you look at the gap between the haves and the have not in the education system — you know, the children that are from a wonderful family with educated parents and have high-speed internet at home and have parents that are disciplined to know they are going to do their schoolwork at home, all those children are going to do fine. But everybody is not in that situation,” Stutts continued. “So if we spend a year with no real school, for a large percentage of children, they’re not going to make any educational progress during that year. They’re not going to develop socialization skills they would have developed in school. And academically, they’re going to fall way, way behind. If we do this for a whole year — we’ve already done it for the last nine weeks of the last school year, and if we do it for the majority of this school year, all of this school year, when the fall of 2021 rolls around, the gap between the children that are prepared academically and those not is going to be much wider than it is right now. There are implications with what you’re going to do with the schools besides prevent the spread of the virus.”
“I’m in favor of opening schools up,” he added. “And I understand the risk of maybe a child taking it home to a grandparent. I understand all that risk, but if you’re in that category, then you need to take those precautions at home. But for everybody else, we need to open up the schools.”
@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.