Strict Covid-19 policies have left many Washington, D.C school students without clean drinking water. As part of a pandemic-related “health and safety measure”, the city has turned off the drinking fountains at its public schools. Unfortunately, the city has not made sufficient backup plans to ensure that students and staff will not go thirsty.
A teacher at Stuart-Hobson Middle School, Bethany Rosera, told the Washington Free Beacon that whilst the school district had provided the school with water jugs, they ran out quickly and left students and teachers without any clean drinking water.
Rosera said: “We ran out of water [on Tuesday] and our admin drove twice to Costco to fill up their own car with water in the middle of the day so we could get through the end of the day and have some for [Wednesday] if a delivery didn’t occur.”
After communications to the school district about the situation failed to yield water replenishments, she posted about the situation on Twitter. It wasn’t until her thread went viral that a delivery truck showed up at the school to replace the water the next morning. She believes that the attention her post drew prompted a quicker response.
According to Rosera, even when the school did have alternative water in stock, using it was a “logistical nightmare.” She said that D.C public schools’ poor responsiveness to students’ needs is part of an ongoing pattern of ignoring issues until the community learns about them and parents become outraged.
She said: “Only the ‘loudest’ problems get solved immediately. There are schools with problems that aren’t tweeted about that aren’t acknowledged at all.”
Other schools in the same district have reported similar problems. One teacher at Brightwood Education Campus said that her school went without clean drinking water for three days due to the extreme measure.
Washington D.C schools are seeing some of the strictest Covid-19 measures in the nation. Under Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser, they have instituted restrictions such as universal masking, weekly testing of 10 percent of their students and social distancing.
Two weeks ago, Bowser announced that teachers and all other adults who work at public, charter, private and parochial schools, as well as childcare facilities, must be fully vaccinated by November 1st, while students older than 12 will also need to be jabbed if they want to take part in school-based extracurricular activities.
Letting children go thirst is an unreasonable reaction to the potential risk of sharing a water fountain. Even then, the risk of contracting Covid-19 from a water fountain is incredibly low.
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