States across the country are struggling with how to open schools in the fall, or if they will open at all. Except in South Dakota, where Republican Governor Kristi Noem has said schools will be open as usual.

Noem’s handling of the Coronavirus crisis has stood out in many ways.

Talia Kaplan reports at FOX News:

South Dakota Gov. Noem: ‘The science is clear, our kids need to be in school’

“The science is clear, our kids need to be in school,” South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday, adding that “it’s better for them.”

Noem made the comment one day after she said at a news conference at John Harris Elementary in Sioux Falls that she will push for schools to stay open this fall in the state that never implemented stay-at-home orders, emphasizing the educational and social benefits of a return to in-person learning, the Billings Gazette reported.

On Wednesday, Noem reiterated that sentiment speaking on “Fox & Friends,” saying that students will “definitely be in the classroom” in the fall.

“We have proven that distance learning is not as effective as being in the classroom,” Noem said. “We think that kids have only achieved about 70 percent of the learning that they could have had they been in school.”

She went on to say that “we have a lot of kids that don’t have a stable home environment, they don’t have parents that are really being responsible to make sure that they’re learning.”

Watch the video below and turn up the volume, it’s a little quiet:

Noem is being singled out by the media for not requiring masks for students.

From CBS News:

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem disparages face mask requirements for students

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Tuesday said she will push for schools to stay open this fall, but disparaged any requirements for children to wear masks in classrooms. As parents and school boards cautiously weigh the risks and benefits of schools reopening, the Republican governor emphasized the educational and social upside of a return to in-person learning, citing research that COVID-19 poses less of a threat to children.

But Noem appears selective in the research she uses for her decisions, pointing to studies that indicate a low health risk from the virus, while downplaying scientific findings that show masks could slow the spread of the disease.

“We cannot sacrifice the educational, physical, emotional and social well-being of our kids. The risks of COVID are too minimal for us to make sure that they’re all going to stay home,” Noem said at a news conference at John Harris Elementary in Sioux Falls.

I’m starting to hope that Noem runs for president at some point.

Featured image via YouTube.

 

 
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