It would be difficult to find someone more qualified from the viewpoint of an educator or student.
His commentary on the individual CDC recommendations, all seasoned by years as both an Indiana school superintendent, a university professor and an attorney, asks the COVID-19 bureaucracy to justify certain restrictions that experience tells him will be debilitating to the teaching profession.
Below is an executive summary of his white paper posted in full at inpolicy.org:
"The CDC is likely full of educated well-meaning people with respected medical degrees and great expertise in communicable diseases. The guidance they have provided for public schools is surely well-intended. However, the guidelines appear to have been issued in a void without the input and collaboration of public school superintendents, principals and teachers. The guidance seems to perhaps be solid medical advice, but lacks context and knowledge of public schools. No two schools, and no two school districts are alike.
"It is very difficult, if not impossible, for a federal agency from Atlanta, Georgia, to develop rules, guidelines or suggestions that are helpful for schools all over America. This is just one more example of the federal government trying to micromanage schools from afar. When will politicians and federal bureaucrats ever learn that they cannot successfully run schools by fiat, regulations, even ‘suggestions’ issued from the federal law palaces?
"The politicians and bureaucrats will probably respond: ‘But these are just guidelines and suggestions – not mandates.’ Be that they may, how difficult will it be for public schools to ignore these guidelines?
Politically, it will be difficult for schools. Once the first few students get sick and the school has not followed all the guidelines, the parents and community activists will be visiting the next school board meeting in masse screaming the school was not responsible and mismanaged the re-opening of schools.
In that same crowd at the board meeting will likely be a couple of lawyers eagerly handing out their business cards to parents who will soon sign lawyer agreements and become plaintiffs in lawsuits alleging negligence, malfeasance, wrongful death, etc. Once again, the public schools have been placed by the politicians and bureaucrats in the overly used trick bag."
Jeff Abbott, J.D., Ph.D., an adjunct scholar of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, has undertaken the job of going through line by line the recently released school-opening guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).