Parents need to exhibit patience with area schools

     As policymakers and educators continue the difficult process of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone agrees on two things. Our children have to be safe and our children must be educated.

     Every school district in southern Ohio and the state is trying to determine how to reconcile what can be conflicting objectives. One other thing is for certain. Now is not the time for ill-informed armchair quarterbacks.

     As a general rule, the citizenry should always scrutinize school board policies and the decisions being made by school leaders. Few people can have such a profound impact on a community than the people who are making decisions about how to educate our young people.

     In these times, however, superintendents, school board members, principals and other school leaders are trying to thread a needle of legal requirements, COVID-19 protocols, community expectations, cultural influences and good, old-fashioned common sense.

     It should also be understood that, as most things involving COVID, there is not a one-size fits all solution. How Chillicothe High School in Ross County handles lunches with its number of students might be a world away from how Green High School in Scioto County handles it with its smaller numbers.

     A number of factors could lead to different ways schools handle scheduling, busing, lunches, and a host of other logistical challenges.

These are not easy days for leaders in education and it should be recognized that there will be inconsistencies from district to district because each district has its own set of characteristics.

     Every community in southern Ohio elected board members to go about the business of keeping our children safe and educating them. Now is the time to let them and those they have trusted in their respective administrations do their jobs, the jobs we expect them to do, in coordination with state education and health professionals.

     Be involved, be supportive and if there are concerns or criticisms, make them in a way that is constructive and helps solve the broad challenges our educators are facing.

     This can be a time when our local educators can shine. It can be their finest hour, but they are going to need patience and understanding from parents and citizens. When we hear that we can all get through this pandemic together, this is what it looks like.

     It’s time to help lift our educators up and not drag them to the ground.