Educators and administrators are stressed out, as the state has provided guidance for schools to reopen in the fall.

The schools want to make going back to class as safe as possible, and that probably means spacing desks at least six feet apart, reducing the class size significantly and requiring everyone to wear a face mask. Schools are also being mandated to purchase a lot of extra protective items at a time when there's no spending money left over.

Some parents are anxious as well, about things like returning classes to the way they used to be, and staggered classes or learning from home that would interfere with their work schedules.

But then there are parents like Peter Cerrato of Walpole, who started a petition on He doesn't want the kids returning to school while being forced to wear face masks or stand six feet apart because he says it's not in the child's best interests – on many levels.

Cerrato says after the sudden uprooting of our children from their school life, they need the feeling of comfort, safety and normalcy in their lives. So the kids should be permitted to see their friend's faces, and they should be able to have recess without a face covering.

I see the validity of both sides, but I don't see this ending in a push/pull. However, if we were told that all these precautions would only last for a school year at the longest, and then we'd return to the garden variety of everyday life thereafter, then I don't think we'd see 37,000-plus signatures – and gaining – on that petition.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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