SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A shockwave was sent rippling through communities across California after Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday afternoon that he does not expect children to go back to school before the summer.
Previously, schools have been closed on a district to district basis, but it’s not clear how this particular decision will be made. Though Governor Newsom did call the statewide, long-term closing the likely scenario.
“I would plan and assume that it’s unlikely that many of these schools, few if any, will open before the summer break,” Newsom said.
Newsom made the announcement Tuesday afternoon, admitting his own child is struggling with the idea.
“One of my daughters was expressing deep stress and anxiety that she wasn’t in school,” he said. “I was with her, very sober moment, over the course of about an hour. And I told her, ‘Honey I don’t think the schools are going to open again.’”
CBS13 spoke with child therapist Renee Bond, who had suggestions on how to explain all of this to young children.
“They’re asking very direct questions… are we going to die? Am I safe?” Bond said.
She suggests beginning with letting your children know they’re going to be safe. “We are all home so that we can protect the people whose immune systems are not working well,” Bond said.
Bond said it’s likely your child might then ask, “what’s an immune system?” She suggests keeping your answers simple.
“An immune system is when our bodies fight germs,” Bond said. “Kid it up, be playful about it, but also be honest.”
And until the kids can go back to school, Bond recommends trying your best to get them outside to play.
Parents in Sacramento are anxious at the prospect of having to adjust their lifestyles and the most disconcerting part is that there’s no time frame being offered by the Governor’s office.