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Letters to the Oceanside/Island Park Herald (Feb. 18-24)


A push for in-person learning

To the Editor:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated their guidelines for opening schools for full-time and in-person learning. These guidelines include mask mandates, and encourage students and staff to wash hands, clean, ventilate, contact trace and social distance (which is now allowed at less than six feet).

Their findings also state that in-person schooling is not associated with any increase in Covid-19 cases. A former CDC director said, “When it comes to where children are safest during the pandemic, schools are the best place to be.” It is there that everyone must wear a mask.

Additionally, there is no evidence that hybrid schooling results in fewer cases than full-time, in-person schooling. The negative effects of remote and hybrid learning are alarming. Many students are less likely to participate and more easily distracted when learning from home, and the lack of social interaction — particularly during middle and high school years — results in a major increase in anxiety and depression for many.

I am strongly advocating that the Central Administration and the Board of Education, along with middle and high school staff, prepare to offer an in-person, full-time option for our Oceanside students as soon as possible. I advocate conferring with local districts, such as Bethpage, Bellmore, Merrick, Farmingdale, Massapequa and, more recently, Long Beach, all of which have successfully been offering this option.

It seems obvious that our students deserve this opportunity. Parents who wish for their children to remain on remote or hybrid schedules should continue to have those choices. Clearly, this would reduce the numbers of students in these two buildings.

If school officials choose not to offer full-time, in-person learning, our middle school and high school students will have lost a year and a half of full-time learning, and our seniors will have missed out on their very special year, one that their friends in other districts around Long Island have been enjoying with no harmful effects.

Come on, Oceanside! Let’s work together to give our children the education — both socially and academically — that they deserve.

Laraine Millman, Oceanside


Kreiss column was ‘preposterous’

To the Editor:

Randi Kreiss’s column “When it comes to Trump, newspapers go BIG” (Jan. 14-20) was preposterous. Kreiss asserted that former President Trump incited his supporters to violence, yet she brought no examples and no proof.

I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt, because maybe she didn’t see his speech. But even so, she wrote, “I sure hope we do more as a society than take away his freaking Twitter account.” So Kreiss wants us, as a society, to do more than censor someone’s opinion on a private app? That idea would be fascist.

Kreiss also brought up the man at the Capitol who wore a ocratic politicians support such behavior. In addition, the man wearing the Nazi T-shirt wasn’t in a position of power. But Louis Farrakhan has met with Democratic elected leaders, some of whom have potential ties to the Nation of Islam leader.

Kreiss’s description of the riots was full of misinformation and lacked context. There were tens of thousands of people there, perhaps as many as 100,000, but only hundreds were not peaceful. Furthermore, FBI investigations show that the violence was planned weeks in advance.

The rioters’ behavior was unacceptable. However, was it acceptable that stores and businesses were looted and people were killed during the BLM protests, which were encouraged by then Sen. Kamala Harris?

Kreiss called the election “fully legitimate.” Yet in 2005, a bipartisan commission, chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, concluded, “Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.” If that’s the case, then universal mail-ins are even less reliable, leaving me more skeptical about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

All misinformation needs to be brought to light, and reporting must have proper context.

Mordechai Newman, Oceanside