coronavirus

‘Enough is Enough': Pediatrician Calls for Reopening Schools

Students have been learning online and away from fellow students for nearly a year and it's taking a toll.

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Dr. Alice Kuo, a professor of pediatrics at UCLA and past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics Southern California chapter, is calling for schools to reopen.

"We are just here for the kids and we are trying to say enough is enough. Can we get kids back to school?" she said. "I think it's overwhelmingly accepted now that schools do not drive virus transmission."

Kuo and other pediatricians say the immediate and long term negative impacts on children are greater than the risk of returning to classrooms. She mentions an 8-year-old patient who was outgoing and physically active.

"We are now working with a 30-pound weight gain, he is depressed, he is acting out, I have never seen him like this before," she said. "This is one out of hundreds of thousands and we as pediatricians are seeing this"

Ross Novie is the parent of two LA unified students and the founder of Parent Uprising, which is also calling for a return to classrooms.

"This is a very destabilizing situation for a lot of families and there is tremendous anger," he said. "At a certain point we have to start accepting the consensus that the science says we we can have in person school that's safe."

On Wednesday, the CDC director said with the proper safety measures in place, it is safe to reopen schools, leaving Kuo to wonder why there's still opposition.

"I think the roadblocks are political and not science," she said.

She points to the re-reopening of restaurants and hair and nail salons, while schools have remain closed for 10 months.

"I hope we value our children as much as we value other parts of the sector," Kuo said.

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