The sentiments shared by school nurses both privately and on social media are revealing a bleak picture from the first few weeks of school reopening. We are sounding blaring alarms that the health and safety of our nation’s children cannot be maintained without public health guardrails. One school nurse Tweeted out that her passion for nursing was now on life support.
The concerns and stark warnings from school nurses are from the “boots on the ground” professionals. The states where political theatre has hijacked public health principles are the same states that have already started the 2021-2022 school year. To date, thousands and thousands of students and school staff are already quarantined due to low vaccination rates and lack of safety protocols fueling the spread of the Delta variant.
Lisa Kern, a seasoned school nurse leader from Florida summed it up best in this NBC article:
“School nurses here are facing a moral dilemma because the protocols that are in place and coming from the state don’t align with their values, their training, general scientific opinion, CDC guidance, or the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics. It’s unsettling.” said Lisa Kern, the Florida Director of the National Association of School Nurses.
Listen to the ICU nurses, school nurses, pediatric nurses, public health nurses, emergency room nurses; we are all saying the same thing! The health and safety of our nation is at stake and lives are hanging in the balance because of the politicization of universal masking and vaccination requirements. We know that children and teens need to be in school. Much has been lost by our most important asset, our children, over these past sixteen-plus months. But yet, there is fighting in the streets, at school board meetings, and in school health offices about implementing the exact public health strategies that work.
This time last year, I told the New York Times this:
Little did I know how prescient that statement would be more than twelve months later…