Responsibility Open Schools to Help Protect Kids

This update is going to be hard to read at times. A lot of what I have been seeing, reading, and being forwarded paints a grim picture of the trauma kids are going through right now. The appropriate word is trauma and not hard times or challenges or disruptions or setbacks.

We’re actually all going through a collective trauma that is going to affect more and more people, especially children. That’s why it’s critical to get children out of the house and around other caring adults. The best place for that is school. This protects them and helps parents who are struggling to keep it together.

Teachers make up over 20% of the reports of abuse and neglect of children. Without the watchful and consistent eyes of teachers, the conditions that kids find themselves are deteriorating. School also provides the needed food that kids are probably not getting due to neglectful parents. It’s time to open the schools back up.


Kids are suffering as the collective trauma of shelter in place goes into its 8th week. It’s clear from the crisis lines, ER’s, and parents groups, that kids are taking the brunt of the trauma of stressed-out parents and in the worst case, physical and sexual abuse. The normal mandatory reporter network of teachers (over 20% of reports) and after school programs have been dismantled. This leaves the most vulnerable without a voice. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration saw a fivefold increase at its National Helpline in March. The Crisis Text Line says its volumes are up 40% in the pandemic, to about 100,000 conversations a month. For the first time ever, minors make up half of the visitors to the National Sexual Assault Hotline. The shelter at home order does not mean safe at home.

Scroll through a parent support group on Facebook and you’ll see the sure signs of stressed-out parents having a negative impact on their children. The stress and strain of work, kids at home, and homeschooling has already taken its toll on Generation C. You’ll see stressed our parents lashing out at traumatized kids who don’t have the coping skills to handle this type of stress. 

Heck, most adults don’t have the coping skills to handle the triple whammy of isolation, uncertain income, and teaching their kids. Any opening of the economy would require the opening of schools and afterschool programs. Where else will the working parents put their kids?

Kids need to get back to a normal, outside of the house routine where additional caring adults can help share the burden of overburdened parents. It’s unacceptable to assume that parents can work, take care of kids, and homeschool them. Even otherwise calm and rational parents are buckling under the stress and strain of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. The most equipped, consistent, and trained placed to afford the help and support needed is school.

Teachers make up over 20% of the reports of abuse and neglect to child protective services. Teachers are one of the only other non-family member adults who consistently sees a child. It’s vital that the social safety net of school be brought back to stem the tide of escalating trauma that kids are experiencing. It will help everyone and is vital to opening the economy.

Jobs and Business Support

Vulnerable Populations/Population Health

Economic Development

  • Download Cards, “eCommerce”, and Covid Commerce: Soon there won’t be anything called “eCommerce”, or any sharp distinction between online or offline merchandising for most of what we buy. I think this should be obvious to anyone who spends any time in this world. The COVID lockdown has accelerated this transition; not because it’s tilting more transactions towards the internet, but because it’s making really clear that no one actually cares about the difference between online versus offline.

Things to Ponder or Give a Try

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