Child therapist explains how schools reopenings could actually harm kids' emotional health

As the U.S. grapples with record-setting daily counts of coronavirus cases, people are debating the wisdom of sending kids back to school for the upcoming school year. The Trump administration has made it clear that they want schools fully open and running in person, even threatening to withhold federal funding from schools that refuse. Teachers, parents, and school administrators are grappling with what that might look like and whether the idea of putting dozens of kids and adults together in an indoor space for six or seven hours a day during a pandemic is as asinine on its face as it sounds.

One of the many arguments in favor of kids going back to school is that kids need the normalcy of school and peer interaction in order to stay mentally and emotionally healthy. But not everyone is in agreement with that assessment, including a child and family therapist who shared an explanation of how kids going to school in a pandemic is not only unwise from a public health standpoint, but from a mental health standpoint as well.


A post shared by Jodi Kelber on Facebook comes from an unnamed child and family therapist in Maryland, and starts with, "A therapist's perspective has been absent regarding children's mental health in the debate to open schools or not."

The post reads:

"As a child and family therapist, I strongly disagree with the arguments that 'schools should reopen for children's emotional health'. No version of this situation is good for children's mental well-being, so we are choosing between bad situations here. Calls to open up schools are shorted sighted and illogical. Here are some things bad for emotional health about reopening:

- Children experiencing so much more death of their loved ones, friend's loved ones, and community members.
- Having to obey rigid and developmentally inappropriate behavioral expectations to maintain social distancing for hours at a time.
- Restricting their engagement with their peers even though those peers are right in front of them.
- Having to constantly actively participate in cleaning rituals that keep their community trauma present with them
- Somehow having to have the executive functioning within all of this to meet educational standards and possibly experiencing overwhelm, shame, and self-doubt when they reasonably can't
- Being unable to receive age appropriate comfort from teachers and staff when dysregulated from all of this, thereby experiencing attachment injuries daily.
- Lack of any predictability as COVID takes staff members for weeks at a time with no warning while children wonder if that staff will die as well as the looming threat of going to back into quarantine any random day

Returning to school as things are now is NOT better for children's mental health.
It is a complete rationalization by people who are uncomfortable with children not engaging in productivity culture.
The majority of schooling NEEDS to stay virtual to protect our children and teachers and to make room for the safe return of the populations of students who actually do need to be in person."

One of the hallmarks of this pandemic is being stuck between a rock and a hard place in practically every arena of normal life. If we shut down, the economy tanks, workers can't work, and people suffer. If we don't shut down, infectious disease spreads like wildfire, masses get sick and die, and people suffer. Same idea with schools, especially when many working parents rely on schools for childcare. (It's worth nothing that had we adequately shut down early enough and long enough, we arguably wouldn't be in the terrible predicament we're in now with schools reopening).

There simply are no good answers, which is a hard reality to deal with. But if we have to choose between kids and families struggling while preventing pandemic spread or kids and families struggling while actually contributing to pandemic spread, it makes more sense to choose the former. Yes, keeping kids out of school sucks is problematic in a bunch of different ways, but so is sending kids to school. Deciding that "it's not that bad" (which it is) or "kids don't really spread it" (which we don't know) or "we just have to live with it" (which renders all of the sacrifices we've made up to now worthless) is magical thinking that will result in greater illness, suffering and death than we're even seeing currently. While the question remains, "What about parents who can't stay home with their kids?" we simply have not controlled our outbreak to a level where sending all kids back to school is a reasonable option.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Welcometoterranova article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less
via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

"We couldn't decide on who would be the biological father," Simon told The Daily Mail. "Graeme said it should be me, but I said that he had just as much right as I did."

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

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Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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