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EDITORIAL: Stay safe if you're heading back to school

The Dispatch Editorial Board
Students return to school for the first time in six months at York Suburban Middle School, Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Sixth and ninth grade students started a day earlier than the rest of the district due to moving up to bigger schools.
John A. Pavoncello photo

Thumbs up and a word of caution to students throughout York County returning to school.

Some school districts have commenced reopening following a six-month shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Many more are scheduled to begin classes — in some form — this coming week.

To students returning to classrooms: Please, wear your masks and wash your hands. To those working remotely: Pay attention and put in the work.

There are few good options right now, as universities that reopened briefly are now finding out. And local districts are struggling still to respond to the constantly evolving situation. 

American society has so far proven itself incapable of striking the balance between the importance of education and stemming the virus' spread. 

Thumbs down to Central York's school board for yet again punting on an obviously worthwhile curriculum because it triggered a couple of board members.

The school board tabled Monday the draft K-12 curriculum intended to promote discussions about racism, white privilege and discriminatory policing.

The move came a week after two board members, Veronica Gemma and Vicki Guth claimed the discussions would foster police-hating Marxists.

Eye roll.

Apparently, asking basic questions — the crux of western intellectual endeavors since Socrates — is un-American, according to Gemma and Guth.

The school board members should quit playing victim and permit students to probe topics that are both relevant and necessary. 

Thumbs up to disaffected Republicans willing to challenge President Donald Trump's stranglehold on their party and reject Trumpian nativist populism at this week's Democratic National Convention.

Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Secretary of State Colin Powell are among a slew of "never Trumpers" speaking at this week's remote convention, where Joe Biden is slated Thursday to accept his party's presidential nomination.

Love Trump or not, his grip on the Republican rank-and-file is near absolute. Trump successfully turned a party not long ago defined by regional factions and a basic set of principles into an extension of his own personality.

As a result, the GOP is without clear direction on issues foreign and domestic. The daily whims of a man, whose only focus is his personal wealth and power, cannot define a healthy, functioning major political party.

And it's that takeover to which the likes of  former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and former U.S. Rep. Susan Molinari, R-N.Y., are speaking as they take to the podium this week and back Biden's bid.

They doubtlessly disagree on many issues. But they also recognize that Trump's corruption, to which his party's top brass is willingness to play accomplice, is eroding democracy itself.

In this image from video, former Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)