Beachwood, NJ Father’s COVID-19 Reaction Angers Me (Opinion)
This next story has me wanting to write curse words up and down this page...but I won't, because I am going to take the high road.
I am sure by now you have heard the story about the Beachwood father who refused to take his son home from school after coming in contact with COVID-19.
If not, here is a quick synopsis, based on reports from the Beachwood Police Department and multiple news reports.
The father received a call from the school nurse that he had to come and pick up his son from Beachwood Elementary School because he had come in contact with another student who tested positive for COVID-19.
He allegedly became irate and yelled at the school nurse, other school employees, and even the police school resource officer who was on site.
Eventually, he did take his son home.
You can take a look at NJ.com for a much more detailed version of the story but holy cow, do I have things to say because incidents like this are putting teachers, school staff, and students at risk.
Let's start with a quote the father said, according to NJ.com:
“I (said I) would like some information on where it happened, when it happened and how it happened so I can judge for myself if he was just on the playground and gave the kid a high five or if this is a kid he sits next to in class every day and it’s a high risk. How can you determine the exposure — and they wouldn’t answer me.”
Are you kidding me? You are trying to determine "to what degree" your son had to contact with COVID-19?!
They wouldn't answer the parent because it is not his decision on whether or not the son stays in school.
Medical professionals - which I am going to assume he is not based on his quote -- have been studying this virus since the onset of the pandemic.
These professionals are the ones who have set these current rules in an attempt to keep this pandemic under control. I.e.: How the virus can be transferred, who is high risk etc.
That's right....attempt....because we are still not out of it.
Let's say the staff answered him and he deemed his son's contact with the virus to be "not high risk," he was leaving school that day whether the parent wanted him to or not.
Side Note: The father was told that the Division of Child Protection and Permanency would be notified if he did not take his son home.
Says a lot that a grown adult who one would think understands the need for rules -- especially during a global health crisis - has to be threatened to listen to those in charge of caring for and educating his child on a daily basis.
And ya know what? Let's say he got his way and his son stayed in school.
(I've made this point many times but I guess I will have to make it again.)
I did some research and according to SchoolDigger.com, Beachwood Elementary School has 471 students.
If the son contracted COVID-19, which is very possible if he was exposed, that is 469 other students (COVID-19 positive student was sent home) who could possibly get the virus from simply using the bathroom, drinking water from the fountain, eating lunch in the cafeteria, playing on the playground...
That is also 469 students who are going home to their respective households which could include people with asthma, immunocompromised, someone, who is already sick...or any other reason that would make them high risk.
May I also add that having the virus spread at that rate could kick start the pandemic in this area?
I'd like to hold off on the lockdown portion of 2021, thank you.
I saved my final point for last because I like to end things with a bang.
The word "irate," "yelling" and "screaming" is used multiple times throughout this article.
The father can claim he didn't act as such all he wants...the staff felt threatened enough to have to get the school police officer involved.
We all may not like the rules being set during this pandemic, or in general.
But parents: do you realize you are yelling at people who have no control over which rules are passed and which aren't?
Have some respect for yourself and the public workers who put your child first each and every day.
Some of you reading this might get the same call this father did.
So help me, if you have the audacity to treat the school nurse and teachers the way this man did, your child should be kept home, and educating them should now be your responsibility.
These rules are intact for the good of all and the only way we are going to get through this is by listening to the rules that are in place, understanding when action must be taken, and respecting those who are upholding those rules.
When the parents are acting worse than the kids in class, we have a bigger problem to address.
Stay safe and be kind, everyone. This time has been difficult for us all.
Take a closer look at NJ.com.
Okay, I think we both need to cool off and take a break.