We may need to close schools for short periods of time when the spread of COVID-19 gets out of control, since doing so decreases community mobility and, by extension, transmission. We should also be wary of the narrative that schools are not significant sites of transmission, which might be more politically advantageous than scientifically accurate.
We should not rule out school closures, since even though the short-term consequences of COVID-19 on children generally appear to be mild, they are not always benign – and no-one even knows what the long-term effects are. Furthermore, transmission does occur within schools, which can endanger not only schoolchildren but the broader community.
We should never have closed schools because there is no compelling reason to do so. Not only are children at very low risk of developing severe COVID-19, but schools are also not significant sites of transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
Schools should not be closed due to COVID-19 because children are at low risk of serious harm from the disease and do not spread it to others to a significant degree. In fact, closing schools causes far more harm to children than it prevents.
Closing schools violates two rights safeguarded in the Convention on the International Rights of the Child. By infringing these rights, we have caused serious harm to our kids, despite the fact that schools never posed a serious danger to kids or the community at large.