Viral video shows children forced to sit on pavement in freezing cold as Covid-19 precaution
A U.S. school district has come under fire after a Twitter video showed elementary school pupils sitting on concrete outside in cold weather, later dubbed a “mask and snack break.”
The viral video released Tuesday by the Fairfax County Parents’ Association (FCPA) in Virginia shows a teacher standing in the sun reading to about 20 children sitting on the sidewalk in front of the school. Most children are in the shade.
An unidentified woman’s voice in the video complains, “It’s 24 degrees (Fahrenheit) outside, 24 degrees. It’s absolutely unacceptable, unacceptable.” The children were later identified as third graders at Waynewood Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia, meaning they were 8 when school started last August.
Fairfax County Public Schools District responds to Twitter video explaining students are taking “Snack and Mask Break” They were outside for less than seven minutes. “Please note that students do go out to rest in cold weather, but the time is limited, as is the case here,” It added.
The response failed to allay the concerns of critics online, some of whom questioned how to take children outside, sit on the sidewalk, read stories and bring them back to school in seven minutes. Others argue that letting kids snack outdoors in the cold puts them at greater health risks than Covid-19.
The FCPA stated that the incident was caused by “Inadequate leadership, confusing guidance to teachers,” think schools should “Bring these little guys in” in such cold weather.
A similar controversy arose last month, when a video was posted on Twitter showing elementary school students in Portland, Ore., having to sit on plastic tubs for lunch in cold weather.
Child abuse: Kindergarten students at Capitol Hill Elementary School in Portland, Oregon, were forced to eat lunch outside in 40-degree weather. They sit on buckets to maintain social distance from their classmates. pic.twitter.com/KqFcliTFYf
– Katie Daviscourt 🇺🇸 (@KatieDaviscourt) December 8, 2021