Close up view of a closed school’s message board, encouraging students to keep learning and stay healthy amidst the coronavirus quarantine

Devastation on kids caused by the lockdown is becoming more visible with every day that passes. A few articles pointing this out:

  • Mental health of schoolchildren has suffered.
  • Even CDC finds kids are suffering.
  • It is past time to fix the mistake.

3/19/21 – Reuters – Special Report: As U.S. schools shuttered, student mental health cratered, Reuters finds – Survey of 74 school districts with full or partial shutdowns found that 74% of them could identify a number of indicators showing increased number of students with mental health distress.

Indicators noted are increased number of mental health referrals, increased mental health counseling, increased absenteeism, increased disengagement. Half of the districts identified shutdowns as the cause of those indicators of mental health distress.

Over half the respondents indicated they are seeing increased requests for mental health assistance from faculty and staff. See next article which described the same issue.

As you consider whether there was any value at all in closing schools, consider that Rhode Island reports finding higher infection rate amongst students attending classes remotely than students who were in class. Let me say that again – a higher number of kids were sick who stayed home than were in class.

Reuters isn’t the only group learning there are devastating consequences to closing classes. CDC is figured that out for themselves.

3/18/21 – Yahoo! News – Children are lonely, parents are stressed: CDC study finds remote learning taking a devastating toll – Study by CDC confirmed what a lot of others have already found. Specifically closing schools is harming the mental health and emotional health of children. Only surprise in the article is the shutdowns are hurting the mental health of parents as well, which should not be a surprise to anyone.

Report indicates isolation and inactivity are the drivers of the psychological harm.

3/17/21 – American Enterprise Institute – It’s time to rectify our school-closing mistake – Within two weeks of Ohio being the first state to shut down all schools on 3/12/20 every state in the country did the same. As a snap decision when the pandemic began that may have made sense. Maybe. We have long since passed the point that we know there is horrible devastation from keeping schools closed.

Article summarizes the devastation that has already been identified. Falling test scores. Increasing achievement gaps. Economic studies show a drop of between $12,000 and $15,000 lifetime earnings for each month that kids are out of school. That economic loss will generate a drop in the GDP measured in tens of trillions of dollars.

See next post for summary of that research.

Article points out there has been increasing mental distress with indicators of increased anxiety and depression, increased mental health emergencies and increase suicides.

We now know the closing schools was a tragic mistake.

Kids are only fractional as likely to get infected as adults.

Authors tracking of school districts that have been fully open since 11/20 show no increased rate of infections. Keep in mind that has been at a time when the infection rate has been dramatically higher than last spring.

Author wraps up with saying closing schools in spring of 2020 perhaps made sense then but since that time but we now know it was a mistake to even close them.

Until we collectively admit closing schools was a mistake we won’t make progress. That “we” also includes our political leaders and public health officials.

When we all admit we now know that was a mistake we can at least stop the destruction from this point forward. Perhaps we could even start to repair some of the devastation.


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