Reopen ETHS and address health disparities

Reopen ETHS and address health disparities

Evanston Township High School continues to teach classes exclusively from a distance. In their speech on E-Town Live on February 19, Superintendent Eric Witherspoon and Deputy / Principal Superintendent Marcus Campbell noted that the COVID positivity rates for black and brown individuals are 1.4 to 1.7 times higher. than those of white individuals, and the death rate for non-whites is 2.8 times higher. These statistics are sobering and tragic. But they are also the wrong justification for keeping ETHS closed.

Schools can reopen because mitigation strategies work just as well, regardless of background or skin color. According to CDC guidelines, being in school with proper masking, physical distancing, cleaning, hand washing, and contract finding does not help the community spread – not in any of our communities. This cannot be stressed enough.

Instead of keeping schools closed, the higher positivity and death rates in communities of color should be a call to action to address the health disparities that have simmered for decades and have now spilled over. Most health experts agree that keeping children out of school is likely to worsen health disparities, and not …

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