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Malatesta: Texas Educators, This is your ultimate test

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Here's my take.

COVID-19 is here to stay. It's a way of life. It's not going away on September 1st or October 1st or next March 1st. There is not going to be a vaccine any time soon.

So, it's time to draw a line in the sand – to play or not to play. To do in-person school versus online.

Stop with this bleed-out of information. The Big 10 is not playing non-conference games; the NBA bubble; Major League Baseball playing in front of no one; school districts are going online learning and not playing sports.

Blah, blah, blah.

Make a DECISION! Have some courage. That goes for public and private schools and universities.

The Ivy League cancelled all fall sports. Bad decision, but at least they had the guts to MAKE A DECISION. The State of Louisiana has said they will not play football until they reach Phase 4 of re-opening, which is likely to not happen. Why? The state simply doesn't have the infrastructure or money to set up protocols to deal with COVID-19. This is coming from an LSU graduate, I know.

This is Texas, where high schools are woven into the fabric of the culture. The school binds communities from Houston to El Paso. And don't forget, participating in extra-curricular activities is a choice. If the risk is too great for a student and their family, don't participate. It's that simple.

So, rip off the Band-Aid and succumb to the fear of liability or get creative and get students back to school and participating in extra-curricular activities.

The reasons why sports and students should go back to school range from mental health to learning life-lessons on the field of play, in the classroom or in the band hall. I could literally give you 100 reasons why kids should go back.

Let's just take IN THE CLASSROOM.

Do educators understand the amount of cheating going on with online schooling from elementary school to college? Kids aren't learning anything. They are just finding away AROUND learning to get an A.

People, this is just the beginning. Before you know it, this online schooling is going to become the way of life. Let's just disconnect our kids some more. Great idea (sarcasm).

Ask any educator in any time period, because I have. Teens thrive with structure. They need discipline. They need positive role models like teachers and coaches. They need motivation. Are kids passionate about athletics, theater, ROTC and band or math? Extra-curricular activities are the juice that quenches the thirst for fun while at school.

Come one people, you remember.

So, here's why we shouldn't play…

We don't know how this virus works and affects people – young and old. We believe, over 138,000 Americans have died. With that uncertainty, there are 100 arguments against returning to universities or pre-schools.

So, our lives are paralyzed due to the fear of the unknown. To the fear of liability. No one wants a death of a student with an undiagnosed health condition or a grandparent on their hands. To the fear of getting a Virus – that by today's numbers has killed less than one-percent of those who have gotten the COVID-19 in the US.

So, let's circle back to the beginning. The numbers of cases are GOING to go UP. Students are GOING to get COVID-19. It's okay. We have to live with the new normal. It's not a death-sentence to 99-percent of the population.

These are tough decisions to be made – make one and don't look back.

I'm not a doctor, but my vote is to let the kids participate in school and extra-curricular activities. There will be another virus, trust me on that. Kids are looking for you to be BRAVE.

Here's the deal. Would you rather take a young person's motivation and dreams away while being mentored by some of the COUNTRY'S TOP EDUCATORS because of the fear of the potential unknown? Kids need teachers, coaches and ROLE MODELS more than ever. Like, EVER.

Ya'll are the educators. Ya'll have the doctorates. Come up with a plan and protocols, give students and parents a CHOICE and let's go, either way.

The future of this generation is depending on it. Or just let them TikTok the rest of 2020.

You think I'm joking.