I can understand parents’ desire to get the schools functioning normally again. Children need both the scheduled regularity and adult supervision. However, the letter sent to the Marietta School Board ignores a few things.

First, in Europe, it is only the younger students who seem not to be passing on COVID to others. Elementary schools, with full “bubble” (classes to not interact with other classes) seem to be the safest. However, older kids (middle and high school), with the constant changing of classes, are less safe.

Second, in Europe, the countries there have done a much better job of reducing the viral spread. We have no data regarding how contagion in schools will be under Trumpian (and Kempian) failure to contain the virus. The daily new cases are 3-6 times higher now than they were in May. Forcing teachers, administrators, etc., to attend school might be playing Russian roulette with their health.

Every parent who signed that letter should be required to attend school with his or her children for a month, should the board vote against remote-only schooling for the start of the school year. Let them put their health where their mouths are.

Steve Antonoff

east Cobb


I was once again a proud Marietta City Schools parent on Friday. I watched as our superintendent brought before the school board, a recommendation to start the school year virtually. It was apparent that this difficult decision was made based upon public health recommendations that would keep the health and safety of our teachers, staff, students and families a priority. I was grateful that the board listened and approved this virtual start.

This decision does not come without challenges for families and staff, but within 48 hours I already know these challenges are not insurmountable. The district is looking into ways to support working families in need of a safe place for their child to be during the day. Teachers are given the flexibility to teach from where they feel they can do their best for students. Neighborhoods are gathering to find ways for students to safely socialize. Strangers are coming together on social media to collaborate and help with academic needs of students. Friends are discussing ways to help those with food insecurities. A quick message to a principal, teacher or staff member leads to a list of ways you can help.

During the 2019 football season, the Marietta Family rallied around our athletes as they brought home a state championship. I have no doubt that our Marietta Family will come together again and support each other as we try to navigate our way through this unusual start to the school year.

In our house we will all mourn the loss of a “normal” start to the school year. But I am hopeful this virtual start will keep us from mourning the loss of a teacher, friend or family member.

This is “Special, Different, Better.”

Amy Barnes



Marietta City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Grant Rivera, announced in an email yesterday that in less than 24 hours he was going to hold a school board meeting where he recommended that Marietta City Schools start with virtual learning for at least the first 9 weeks of the school year. In the meeting this morning he explained his reasoning for this recommendation.

He laid out that the foundation of the proposed reopening plan was to be able to have quick testing results, case investigation, and contact tracing. This foundation was supposed to be provided by none other than the understaffed, under-supplied, and overworked Cobb-Douglas Public Health Department during a pandemic. This overburdened Public Health Department (which Rivera and Ragsdale serve on the board) is desperately trying to service close to one million of Cobb and Douglas county citizens, but yet they are supposed to be MCS’s foundation to reopening.

My questions to Rivera, the MCS board, and CDPH officials are: Did CDPH assure Rivera that they would be able to accommodate these tests, case investigations, and tracing for 200,000 students and employees of Cobb and Douglas counties? Did Rivera really think that they could? Did anyone ever speak up over the past four months they had to plan and say, perhaps we should explore other outlets or institutions to ensure we can do this?

Now, in two weeks, kids are going to resume their “education” behind a computer screen. I believe this will have very negative effects to our kids’ physical, emotional, mental and educational well-being due to the lack of structure, social interaction and engagement that can only come through in-person learning.

I applaud Jason Waters, the only MCS board member that stood up for our kids and voted against Rivera’s recommendation. Rivera wants a perfect scenario for testing and tracking, but there is no such thing in a pandemic and there never will be. Until scientists can develop a cure for COVID, this virus is not going to go away.

Duncan McNeel



Can you help us understand why it is OK for athletes in Georgia high schools to have in person fall sports yet students in Cobb county can only have virtual learning?

Kimberley Euston



A thought and an observation. As schools are deciding the fate of students for fall with many at first giving a great option for parents to choose whether to send their children or keep them home for online learning, there has been an (alarming to me) number of teachers and their unions protesting and suing against heading back to the classroom. These groups are saying things like, “How dare you put my life/our families lives at risk?” or “We won’t be a Petri dish”, etc.

First and foremost, I would hope that all teachers, administrators, unions, parents would agree that what is best for our children’s learning is face to face instruction. Now, before you go nuts, I know there are plenty of teachers who are biting at the bit to return, which I love, and I also realize there are teachers out there that have underlying health issues or family members that do so for those I would expect the school systems to work with them.

Here is my issue — Unless you have stayed at your dwelling place this entire time, eating from your land and having no human contact, you have most likely been exposed. The point of “Why should I have to expose myself and my family?” Well, why not you? Why do you think it’s OK for your grocer, delivery person, mailman, repairman, gas attendant, utility worker, plant worker, farmer, restaurant worker, pharmacist, banker, doctor, nurse, etc.. Why is it OK for these people and others whose services we/you use everyday to be out in public and work exposing themselves and their families but not you? It’s a serious question and one I don’t pose lightly. These kids need to be in the classroom.

The community that is being hurt the most are the ones who don’t have access to three meals a day and if you think they will be covered for online schooling with proper equipment and internet access, I have beachfront property to sell you in Kansas. There is a rise in malnutrition, abuse, anxiety, child diabetes — if you don’t believe me call your pediatrician. There are other causes of death than COVID, which has a 99%-plus survival rate in case you were wondering. It’s time to support our kids, let’s mask up, wash up, distance, live by faith rather than fear and send these children back to school.

Kim Cross



There is a major public health cost to virtual learning.

Dr. Janet Memark’s coronavirus guidance has led the Cobb County School District in a direction that is harmful to the public’s physical, mental and social well-being. Because Cobb Schools are now virtual learning only, I will have to place my child in daycare or private school. After all, I have to work so I can provide things like food, shelter and health insurance — so my family stays well. Sadly, I cannot afford to quit a great job and stay at home all day.

The question I would like to pose to the Cobb/Douglas Public Health Department is how do the daycare and private school options people are being forced into differ from the public school setting (where there are greater numbers of trained & ready staff)?

People have to work. Surely you understand that widespread poverty leads to health problems. ... Our debt-ridden federal government can’t keep us afloat forever with magical checks.

Also, even if remote learning is executed perfectly within the CCSD, will the parents, babysitters, and underpaid/undertrained day care staff really be able to help a dozen kids of different grade levels on a dozen different devices? I doubt they get them all connected to WiFi successfully. And behavior management/focus during learning is a separate (and major) issue.

Time to have courage and carry on people. Go out and live your lives.

Nathan Cole



I’m stunned that our governor is not supporting those cities who want to protect their citizens. The following is from Michael Downing, President &CEO of Northwell Health that has treated more than 50,000 COVID-19 Patients.

“Masks Work. If you work in healthcare, you must wear a mask-when working and when not. It’s that simple. Set an example for your organization, family and friends and the community. People that do not wear masks are essentially saying they are not concerned about others.”

I wish our governor was concerned about us too. By wearing a mask you are performing an act of kindness. I think we all can agree we could use some more kindness.

Bart Henderson



I wear a mask to protect you. It’s not a political statement, it’s to protect you. There is nothing political about this virus. Please wear a mask so hopefully we can soon all get back to not wearing a mask. They are not pretty, they are hot, they are not comfortable but I care enough about you to wear one. Please, folks, please.

Judi Thatch



There is no doubt the COVID-19 virus is real. There is equally no doubt that it has been, and is being, politicized to the max. The strident and hate-filled left, together with an unequaled in all history cheering and goading section comprised of big media, Hollywood, and academia, see this pestilence as a sure-fire road map to ending the Trump administration, which includes everyone to the slightest bit right of the wild-eyed radicals the Democratic Party has become.

The blanket of fear being spread far and wide by the already mentioned media is manifesting itself in a docility never seen before in America, home of the erstwhile brave, but now a cowering shell of its former collective self. That fear will be exploited to the fullest.

We’ve long known, or should know, that the once neutral worldwide web is now firmly in the clutches of the radical left. Its algorithms know what news and thoughts to send to whom, based upon their web activity. The left read ever more Marxist lit, while the right read what Google, FaceBook and others allow them to read. Aggressive censorship is here, but is not just yet complete.

People who are interested can read the literature on this virus. They will find a wide array of facts and opinions dispersed by medical scientists, including data on the efficacy of masks, who are the most susceptible, the various ways one might contract the virus, successful remedies doctors have employed, such as Dr. Bartlett in Midland, Texas, and the all too common fudging on virus stats.

Sadly, too few read and instead rely on the execrable and mendacious CNN, e.g., for their info.

Such sources have as their single-minded mission the termination of our incredibly brave and accomplished president, and not the general welfare of the American people. No mention is ever made of the despair of the millions whose finances and lifestyles have been severely impaired, and will be further hampered if the schools don’t open, to name one issue. There are others, but please, boards of education, for the sake of The People, open the schools! Take sensible precautions, of course, but it is impossible to guarantee that no one will ever get the virus. We know who are at highest risk. Exempt them, but let the others carry on with their lives. Please.

Harry Hagan

Powder Springs


I am again appalled at the lengths that this president will go to try to discredit anyone that does not agree with him. I think we all know the list of people he has fired or verbally abused, or made fun of. (remember the reporter who was disabled and tried to ask a question? His disability was made fun of on national television.)

Now he is attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci, an expert on infectious diseases. A doctor who has been the head of the NIAID since 1984, served under six presidents, and is trying his best to educate Americans on the dangers of COVID-19.Why does this man who sits in the Oval Office feel the need to demean others?

Gail Meacham



National bankruptcy will not cure the coronavirus!

Endless stimulus money has less and less beneficial results. The money supply and production of real goods and services must be kept in balance. More dollars chasing the same amount of goods always results in rising inflation and the resulting danger of hyperinflation. Incentives to work and produce must be maintained. Paying people not to work is economic nonsense. Increasing national debt at a time of reduced productivity sets the stage for economical disaster.

National debt and politics are at the point where the national debt will soon be past ever being paid off. So what happens? It is called Sovereign Default. Devaluation of the currency. The old fiat money has been made worthless. A new money must be established based on a commodity of real value either by the old government or a new government. Often several repetitions of this process are required. The chaos that results seldom has a happy ending.

Sovereign default is usually a sign of a declining nation. The virtue that was the fountain of former greatnesses is gone, consumed without replenishment having been falsely assumed to be a birthright not a required conduct. Is that our condition? Is that our future? A bright future will be determined by our present conduct not by pork-laden, crony capitalism, fake money stimulus legislation designed to keep politicians in power.

Ralph Bruce



Concerning the Cobb Commissioners giving a $1,000 bonus to essential county workers, I say bravo! I also advocate a $1,000 bonus to all of Cobb’s property owners. They are the ones who work at their jobs under most difficult situations. support their families, maintain their properties and pay the county taxes. Truly their values and work ethics are “essential “ to making Cobb County a beautiful place to live. The property owners deserve a property tax break to reward them for all that they do under most difficult times.

Frank Molesky



Col. George Robert Hall was a U.S. pilot shot down over North Vietnam in 1965 where he was imprisoned for seven years in the “Hanoi Hilton” in a seven-and-a-half-square-foot cell. Each day, he visualized himself playing a round of golf on a different golf course he had played. He visualized every drive, every approach shot, and every putt in his mind. Six weeks after his release from prison, having lost 100 pounds, he played in a U.S. tournament and scored a 76. Witness the power of the mind.

How many of us have thought of someone we have not spoken with in a long time, and within a day or two, that person will call? I cannot explain it, but it happens too often to be a coincidence. It is the power of the mind.

Our current situation is somewhat like “home confinement.” If the pandemic were over in two weeks, everyone could go back to the “old way” soon, and no one would have to change anything. But this is long enough that it has caused the whole world to rethink lots of things, and there is the opportunity. This could be a sabbatical.

Most folks have figured out that commuting is largely a waste of time. What will you do with your extra hour and a half every day? What other baggage can you dump? What if you walked in your back yard with a cup of coffee in the still of the morning and thought of what your ideal day, ideal client, ideal relationship, ideal weight goal, ideal job, ideal reading plan, ideal anything would look like? Assuming your back yard is at least as big as Colonel Hall’s prison cell, how could you use your mind to change your life? “The diamonds are in your back yard.”

Daniel F. Kirk



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