State presents case to open classrooms amid pandemic

Coronavirus

Children draw at the Palotes preschool in Valladolid, on June 10, 2020. – The Palotes preschool is one of the first schools to open in the Castilla y Leon region as the country continues to loosen a national lockdown to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo by CESAR MANSO / AFP) (Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP via Getty Images)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Cap News Services) – Florida reached 10,000 deaths from the coronavirus Thursday after adding 117 fatalities.

It was also day two of a hearing in which the state teachers union is asking a judge to stop schools from opening.

Hillsborough Special Education Teacher Lindsey Arthur was called by the state, she testified that just ten of her 40 special education students participated when the state virtual in March.

“They need to be with their teacher if they can, with the their friends to grown and to learn,” said Arthur.

Jennifer Tribble is a working mother of rising third and fourth graders.

“If I ever failed at anything, it’s this,” said Tribble.

She said her kids have changed dramatically with distance learning.

“I had to very active kids who never shut down. Never stopped playing. Who never- And now they are so lazy,” said Tribble.

Laura Pope, mother of a 16-year-old autistic son, told the court her son doesn’t understand distance learning.

“We put the iPad in front of him and say, hey, we’re going to start doing school work and immediately the reaction of anxiety. No school, no school, no school. And then the iPad goes across the room,” said Pope.

The state and the union lawyers spent a lot of time arguing over whether a five percent positivity rate should be required before schools could open.

The CDC doesn’t recommend it, but it is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

A Stanford medical economist called by the state spent more than three hours testifying where he cited an Icelandic study showing adults are at low risk of being infected by children.

“They found not one instance of a child passing the disease onto an adult in that study,” said Dr. Jay Bhattacharaya.

But the study only covered kids ten and under.

The judge isn’t expected to rule on the injunction seeking to keep schools closed until next week, when more than a dozen districts begin classes.

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