While watching the Dragon flight crew splashdown, I noticed a comment: “If NASA can go to work, children can go back to school.”

Hmm. As a lifelong educator, it’s obvious to me that this person doesn’t know the differences between these groups: adults in an office setting and children in a school setting.

While adults can sit calmly at their desks and will remember to keep a safe distance from each other, this isn’t the case in a classroom with 25-30 young ones.

Children wearing masks in a classroom should not be compared to adults wearing masks while working in the Space Center at NASA.

Children are young and vivacious. They get excited; they touch everything; they forget to stay distant; they shout in each other’s faces; they share food; they won’t remember to wash their hands.

You get the picture. As the cliché says, “It’s like comparing apples to oranges.” And we all know that doesn’t work.

No one wants to see kids isolated from their friends, learning virtually, needing constant parental help with lessons, not playing during recess or sharing in the cafeteria.

And yet there are so many difficult issues. Many parents have to go to work. Who will be the caretakers?

Children want to go back to school. They miss their buddies and their teachers. Many miss free lunch.

And yet as responsible adults, our prime responsibility is to keep students safe. With COVID-19 continuing to ravage our country, spending eight hours a day together in a classroom, playground and cafeteria isn’t in their best interest.

Nor is it in ours as a community. I know our school districts are considering all of this.

Lastly, please remember: Whatever decision is made, your child’s teachers didn’t make the decision. Be kind.

Christine Spigarelli

Rio Rancho