Jenny Beth Martin: The Imperative To Reopen America

On Monday, I spoke in Texas about the need to reopen that state and all of America.

Across the country, we have been in varying degrees of lockdowns since the middle of March. The results have been devastating for our economy, for our constitutional rights and for our children’s education.

As we now assess the widespread damage to the economy, The Wall Street Journal has provided a new analysis of the failures of the lockdowns.

The lockdowns caused excruciating economic damage, costing Americans 13 millions jobs, and did little to stop the virus. As The Wall Street Journal report revealed, there were better ways of slowing the spread of the virus than bringing our entire economy to a near standstill.

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At this point, the reasons to reopen the economy are numerous: The lockdowns cannot be maintained, more than 50 million children were unable to attend their schools during the spring and summer (and most have yet to return to their classrooms for full-time instruction), and our federal spending levels in light of the economic devastation are unsustainable.

During my speech in Texas, I outlined the definitive case for reopening schools.

First and foremost, our children are losing hope about their futures.

High school students are missing out on the vital opportunity to compete for scholarships to go to college.

Younger students, meanwhile, are often unable to participate in meaningful coursework through Zoom and other distance-learning platforms.

Other frightening statistics abound: Instances of suicide and suicidal ideation are up among our nation’s young people, and countless parents and children have legitimate concerns about the potential rise of cyberbullying.

For parents, virtual schooling poses unprecedented problems.

Parents are struggling to manage their jobs and oversee their children’s online education. They have been forced to make impossible decisions between spending time helping their children with online schooling and working their jobs to provide meals for their families.

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If we want the economy to reopen successfully, we must start with our schools.

Parents cannot return to the workplace until their children can resume in-person instruction in classrooms.

Our children are counting on us to get this right.

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