Hawley wants 3-foot rule for students to return to classroom fulltime

Posted 5 March 2021 at 11:06 am

Health Commissioner asked to change guideline from current 6-foot separation

Press Release, Assemblyman Steve Hawley

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) wrote a letter Thursday to state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker requesting that he and the Cuomo administration consider changing health guidelines to allow a 3-foot distance between students, as opposed to the current 6-foot standard.

This would allow students to return to classrooms full-time and end remote learning. The American Academy of Pediatrics has acknowledged that many nations have been able to re-open schools with a 3-foot standard in place, without increasing the spread of Covid-19 in the community.

Hawley believes that remote learning is in many ways harmful to the development of young students, as they are deprived of the opportunity to socialize with their peers and develop critical social skills. Hawley also raises the point that for many students, home is not an environment conducive to learning, and many students who face adverse circumstances at home rely on school as a place they know they can be kept safe and fed a nutritious meal.

“The safety of our children will always be our foremost priority, but it has become clear that remote learning is taking a toll on their development in a very concerning way,” said Hawley. “We have evidence to show that the 3-foot standard can be implemented safely, and should work quickly to get our kids back in schools full-time to minimize the negative consequences remote learning will have on our children and help them become the best young citizens they can be.”