Today tens of thousands of students in Central Texas will be returning to school, joining the scores of thousands who returned to school yesterday.

While there is palpable excitement for many students who want to be around large groups of peers again, many other students feel like hostages, knowing full well that they are entering into buildings where their safety is not being taken seriously. This latter group understand that bringing large amounts of people together indoors for hours at a time greatly increases the risk of spread, even with masks. They understand that because their school populations are majority unvaccinated that the risk is amplified, and that some of them, their peers, or the teachers and staff are going to get seriously ill or die. They understand that people who get infected are going to bring the disease home to their families and their local neighborhoods. Yet they have been told they have no choice—schools will not push back the reopening dates, schools will not go remote, many schools won’t even enforce masking requirements. They are told that they must risk their safety and the safety of their community because the schooling machine requires their participation to operate. Some of them will recognize that they do not have participate. Some teachers and staff members will realize the same.

Solidarity to all the students, teachers, and staff who refuse to participate in indoor schooling at this time.