Orange County Superintendent Calls Decision To Reopen Schools Without Precautions ‘Malpractice’

published on July 17, 2020

REQUIRING SOCIAL DISTANCING THE BACKLASH, AS YOU MIGHT IMAGES IN, HAS BEEN SWIFT NBC’S ERIN McLAUGHLIN IS AT THE ORANGE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION IN COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA

THE SPOTLIGHT ON ORANGE COUNTY IS INTENSE AT THIS POINT NOT CLEAR WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT TAKE US INSIDE THIS BATTLE THAT’S HAPPENING THERE ABOUT HOW

TO REOPEN SCHOOLS >> Reporter: CRAIG, IN CONTEXT WITHIN ORANGE COUNTY IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL HERE WHEN YOU CONSIDER THE POSITIVITY RATE IN THIS PART OF CALIFORNIA IS

14% EPIDEMIOLOGISTS TELL ME THAT SUGGESTS MID-RANGE TO LARGE OUTBREAKS HAPPENING WITHIN THIS COMMUNITY AND A LACK OF TESTING THEY SAY OPENING A SCHOOL WITHIN

THE FACE OF THOSE KIND OF METRICS RISKS AN OUTBREAK AND A SHUTDOWN AT THE SCHOOL WITHIN WEEKS NOW, THE BOARD OF EDUCATION IS ADVISORY ONLY, NOT BINDING

WE’RE ALREADY SEEING SCHOOL DISTRICTS GO THEIR OWN WAY TO THE NORTH OF THE COUNTY SANTA ANA ANNOUNCED IT WON’T BE REOPENING SCHOOLS IT WILL BE DISTANCE LEARNING

COME THE FALL JOINING ME NOW IS THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS HERE IN ORANGE COUNTY, AL MIJARES WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO THESE RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE BOARD OF

EDUCATION? ARE THEY HELPFUL, OR ARE THEY CONFUSING THE SITUATION? >> THEY’RE MOST CERTAINLY CONFUSING THE SITUATION QUITE FRANKLY, I THINK IT’S AN

ETHICAL ISSUE HERE IT’S A FORM OF MALPRACTICE OUR JOB IS TO PROTECT STUDENTS AT ALL COSTS THAT’S THE NUMBER ONE THING PARENTS WANT ACROSS THE COUNTRY,

FOR THEIR KIDS TO BE SAFE IT’S UNCONSCIONABLE FOR US TO SUGGEST WE SHOULD TREAT THIS THING LIGHTLY IT’S A VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM THE PANDEMIC IS SOMETHING WE

HAVE TO HEED WITH A GREAT AMOUNT OF DILL LENS >> Reporter: NOW, THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION HAS ISSUED ITS OWN GUIDELINES THERE’S STATE GUIDELINES,

FEDERAL GUIDELINES IF YOU’RE A PARENT RIGHT NOW WITHIN YOUR COUNTY, WHO SHOULD YOU LISTEN TO? >> YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO THE ORANGE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF

EDUCATION BECAUSE WE HAVE CREATED A PLAN FROM A MULTIDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVE WE’VE ENGAGED MEDICAL DOCTORS CERTAINLY THIS IS SOMETHING WE HAVE TO RELY UPON, WHAT ARE THE

DOCTORS SAYING IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE? WE HAVE DOCTORS, EDUCATORS, COMMUNITY PEOPLE INVOLVED WITH THIS, PARENTS INVOLVED LEADERS IN DIFFERENT AREAS OF

THE SCHOOL SYSTEM AND WE’VE CREATED A DOCUMENT CALLED OC TOGETHER, A GUIDE FOR REOPENING OUR SCHOOLS IT’S ALL DONE ON THE INTERNET IT’S LIVE

PEOPLE CAN ACCESS IT AT ANY TIME IT’S A VERY SYSTEMATIC PROCESS WE’RE FOLLOWING AND A PLAN WE’RE FOLLOWING THAT ALIGNS WITH THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC

HEALTH, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND OUR OWN HEALTH CARE AGENCY >> Reporter: WHAT ARE PARENTS TELLING YOU? WHAT ARE THEIR CONCERNS?

>> PARENTS ARE VERY FRIGHTENED AS YOU MENTIONED, THE HOT SPOTS WE’VE SEEN IN SANTA ANA, AS THAT INTENSIFIES AND NEWS GETS OUT THERE, PARENTS ARE FEARFUL THE MOST VULNERABLE ARE THOSE

PARENTS WHO HAVE NO MEANS THEY’RE AT THE POVERTY LEVEL THEY DON’T HAVE HEALTH CARE FOR THEM TO SEND THEIR KIDS TO SCHOOL AND GET SICK WITH NO HEALTH CARE IS FRIGHTENING

THEY’D RATHER KEEP THEM AT HOME IN MANY CASES MIND YOU, WE WANT OUR KIDS TO BE IN SCHOOL THAT’S WHERE THEY BELONG BUT WHEN YOU’RE DEALING WITH A

DISEASE OF THIS LEVEL, IT’S NOT SOMETHING YOU CAN TREAT LIGHTLY WE HAVE TO TREAT IT WITH A GREAT DEGREE OF CARE >> FROM THE BEGINNING OF THIS PANDEMIC, THERE HAVE BEEN VOICES

HERE WITHIN ORANGE COUNTY PUSHING BACK ON THE SCIENCE THE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER WITHIN THE COUNTY RESIGNED TO DEATH THREATS FOR HER MASK ORDERS, FOR HER SHUTDOWN ORDERS

DO YOU THINK THE POLITICS OF THE SITUATION IS PUTTING PEOPLE’S HEALTH AND IN THIS CASE CHILD WELFARE AT RISK? >> YEAH I DO BELIEVE THE IDEOLOGICAL

ISSUES THAT WE FACE TODAY ARE INTENSE AND VERY DIVISIVE THIS IS NO TIME FOR POLITICS AND IDEOLOGY IN THE SENSE OF WHAT IS RIGHT FOR KIDS RIGHT NOW WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT

THE EVERYDAY EXPERIENCE IN THE LIFE OF A CHILD AND DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO PROTECT THEM THEY’RE MINORS THEY’RE NOT CALLED ADULTS FOR

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