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ALBA FARFAGLIA, San Clemente

Thank you, Mr. Greg Young, for writing “In Defense of Public Schools.”

I taught in public high school and community colleges for more than 30 years. I taught in Connecticut, Texas, northern Virginia, and southeast Georgia.

Most of my colleagues had advanced degrees and were experts in their fields, from physics to physical education, from remedial to AP classes.   

Homeschooling might work in elementary school, but high school is another story, because the classes are difficult. In most households, both parents work outside the home. They come home after a day’s work, after, at times, a long commute and have to get dinner ready for the family.  They don’t have time to help the kids with their assignments. 

Usually, it comes down to this:

Parent: Did you do your schoolwork?

Answer: Yes. 

Parent: OK, then.  

In reality, they could have been on their screens all day. At least in the classroom, they are off their phones. And what about their social and mental development? The public school is a microcosm of the society. We learn to get along with others from all walks of life. 

The pandemic has impacted everyone, but more so kids who belong in school. Learning is done in real time. Nothing can replace being in a classroom, because the teacher is right there with you in person. 

Also, we learn from each other. I believe more harm is done taking kids out of school on account of a vaccine mandate or personal “freedom.” Millions of people all over the world—young, old, middle-aged—have been vaccinated, and, bottom line, the vaccine for COVID, just like any other vaccine, saves lives.

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