If I was a flak for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, or for the Chula Vista Elementary School District, for that matter, I would have screened every student that might have had even the remotest chance of being interviewed. The last thing I’d want is another Andrew Macias on my hands.
Not that there is anything wrong with the youngster. In fact, the Los Angeles area student is one of my “little guy” heroes.
He is the student of Youtube and Internet fame who, six years ago, was interviewed by a reporter during a run-of-the-mill first-day-of-school story.
At the time Andrew was a pre-schooler, embarking on the first day of his academic career. He bravely and cheerfully answered a reporter’s questions.
Until he was asked if he would miss his mom. The immediate, tearful moment following his answer went viral, perhaps because it captured the spirit and emotion of what we all feel at one time or another.
Whether it’s during the first at school, our first day on the job , our first day as a parent—we can all relate to feeling uncertain and anxious despite the brave smile we put forward.
Nevertheless, having a similar moment play out on the first day back to school in the Chula Vista Elementary School District during a pandemic is not good optics.
Thurmond visited Camarena Elementary School Wednesday to welcome students back to full time in-person instruction on campus.
In May he visited two other schools in the district to celebrate the district’s approach to mitigating the spread of COVID-19, highlighting their distancing and masking protocols among others.
The difference between May and now, however, is that overall the number of reported COVID-19 cases was going down.
Now, with the Delta variant of the virus, they are increasing at an alarming rate among the unvaccinated.
A vaccine for children 12 years and younger is not expected until the fall but with enough protected adults surrounding them and masking and distancing protocol in place and followed, officials don’t seem to think there is cause for alarm.
Nonetheless, I can’t help but feel like little Andrew: trying my best to be brave during uncertain times.