The 24 January New York Times headline read:

Surge of Student Suicides Pushes Las Vegas Schools to Reopen

Note the word “pushes.” It has taken a rash of both attempted and actual teen suicides to “push” authorities into getting young people back in school.

As the article points out, “Since schools shut their doors in March, an early-warning system that monitors students’ mental health episodes has sent more than 3,100 alerts to district officials, raising alarms about suicidal thoughts, possible self-harm, or cries for care. By December, 18 students had taken their own lives.” This was just in Las Vegas and its immediate surrounding area of Clark County. The youngest was just nine years old.

The school superintendent for Clark County stated, “When we started to see the uptick in children taking their lives, we knew it wasn’t just the COVID numbers we need to look at anymore. We have to find a way to put our hands on our kids, to see them, to look at them. They’ve got to start seeing some movement, some hope.”

The rise in adolescent suicides tied directly to the lockdown of schools is a national trend. The shutdown of so many schools across the country has revealed just how much children and their parents are suffering from a lack of normal contact with and access to school mental health counselors. 

As The New York Times article states,

This fall, when most school districts decided not to reopen, more parents began to speak out. The parents of a 14-year-old boy in Maryland who killed himself in October gave up after his district decided not to return in the fall. In December, an 11-year-old boy in Sacramento shot himself during his Zoom class. Weeks later, the father of a teenager in Maine attributed his son’s suicide to the isolation of the pandemic.”

Warnings were made over the summer if schools didn’t reopen in the fall. At a 24 July press conference, Dr. Robert Redfield, then head of the CDC, said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all parts of our society, including our school systems. The unique and critical role that schools play makes it a priority to open schools safely this fall and to help them stay open. This will enable students to receive both academic instruction and support, as well as other critical services.”

It’s clear now what the consequences are due to the absence of those “critical services,” especially mental health counseling.

Ignoring the Data

At the same press conference where Dr. Redfield advocated for reopening schools, Dr. Erin Sauger-Schatz, who leads the CDC Division of Injury Prevention, confirmed:

“The data we currently have about COVID-19 among children suggest that children are less likely to get COVID-19 than adults – and when they do get COVID-19 – they generally have less serious illness. To put this in perspective, as of July 21st, 6.6% of all COVID-19 cases in the United States – that’s 192,760 cases – were among those under the age of 18. Turning to the death data, less than 0.1% of all COVID-19-related fatalities in the U.S. have been among children under 18.”

But, in the fall, teacher unions across the country threatened to strike if schools were reopened, complaining of safety issues. As the Newsweek headline on 31 July made clear: 

Largest U.S. Teachers Union Will Support Affiliate Strikes if  School Re-openings Push Ahead

As for the excuse that while young people may not show serious effects from COVID, they can spread it to adults, research came out as far back as 23 June when Bloomberg News published the article, “School Children Don’t Spread Coronavirus, French Study Shows.”

There has been a growing set of research to confirm this. In just one example, on 23 December, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian stated at a news conference, “Children under 12 have been proven not to be carriers or transmitters of the disease.” And a New South Wales health spokesperson confirmed that “children under 12 are not included in visitor numbers as they are generally less likely to transmit the virus that causes COVID-19, both to other children and to adults outside their own households”.

Closed Minds, Closed Schools

As of last Wednesday, the two largest national teachers’ unions still refuse to support the reopening of schools, disregarding the CDC and other prevalent data showing schools are not significantly spreading COVID.

President Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, defended the decision of the teachers’ unions. When asked why these powerful unions were ignoring the data showing kids are not spreading COVID, Mr. Klain dodged the facts and defended their decision: “I don’t think teacher’ unions are overruling studies. I think that what you’re seeing is that schools haven’t made the investments to keep students safe.”

“Keep students safe”?  

Dr. Jesus Jara, superintendent of schools in the Las Vegas region, responding to the growing number of panic phone calls he has been getting from parents who see the rise in adolescent suicides due to schools being closed, said, “I can’t sleep with my phone nearby anymore. It’s like a 24-hour reminder that we need to get our schools open.”

TRENDPOST: It should also be noted that according to the CDC, the coronavirus recovery rate for a person aged 1 to 20 is 99.997 percent. Yet, throughout the world, there are mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing, plastic shield coverings, and other COVID rules being made up and enforced on children.

Absent in the media coverage are reports on the short-and long-term physical and psychological effects of young children that have been drafted into fighting the COVID War.

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