Republic Senator John Kennedy urges anyone who doesn’t want schools to open in the fall to literally kiss his a**
Should schools physically reopen in the fall or should students be educated online? Midway through the summer and at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the burning question that children, parents, politicians, health experts, and educators are attempting to answer. While the majority of people seem open to discussing options, Senator John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, has made it crystal clear where he stands on the subject and wants anyone who opposes the reopening of schools to, well, smooch his heinie.
During a Monday interview with Fox News the 68-year-old politician explained that people who are on the fence about the safety of teachers, students, and anyone they might come into contact with “can kiss my ass.”
“America’s going through a rough patch right now. Some people seem to be enjoying it. Maybe they just hate America. Maybe they just enjoy watching the world burn. I think some are liking the chaos because they think it gives them a political advantage. Part of that chaos is caused by school’s closing. For our kids, we need to open them,” Kennedy said.
“There are some people who want to keep our schools closed because they think it gives them a political advantage. They are using our kids as political pawns. To them I say, unashamedly, that they can kiss my ass.”
While the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics have both pointed out that reopening schools might be best for the mental well-being of students, they have also shared concerns about the potential health ramifications for students, teachers, and community.
Some districts — including Los Angeles and San Diego — have already decided to start the year off virtually. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed this week that schools will open only if their region’s daily infection rate is below 5% over a 14-day average, exclaiming “we’re not going to use our children as guinea pigs.” Other parts of the country, however, are leaning toward keeping children in the classroom with increased sanitation measures, social distancing, and mask wearing policies.
Recent polls conducted by Axios and Ipsos have found that 70 percent of Americans — 82 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of Republicans — feel as though sending children back into classrooms poses a large to moderate risk.
However, many conservatives — including President Donald Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos — staunchly support reopening despite the overwhelming surge of COVID-19 infections across the country. They are even threatening to cut school funding should schools opt to remain physically closed.
“Americans at this point, and parents more specifically, can’t be force-fed policies that go against what they think,” Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs, explained in a press release. “You can’t wish away or scare away a virus. And right now, they’re not feeling safe in putting their children back in school.”
“There’s no one that wants their kids back with us more than teachers.… But we want to open it safely,” Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association, the largest teachers union in the U.S., told CNN last week. “I double-dog dare Donald Trump to sit in a class of 39 sixth graders and breathe that air without any preparation for how we’re going to bring our kids back safely.”
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