An emotional Lawrence Jones made a personal plea to reopen the country’s shuttered schools on Tuesday, citing troubling statistics outlining the toll remote learning has taken on minority communities and telling viewers, “I see myself in those stats.”
“Our kids are struggling in silence, while the unions scream to keep the schools closed,” Jones said on “Fox News Primetime.”
“The left likes to throw around phrases like ‘social justice,’ ‘equity,’ they say Black Lives Matter. Who do you think this hurts the most? That’s right. Black and Brown kids. That’s who,” he continued. “A third of Black households don’t have internet access. How are those kids supposed to learn virtually? I’ll tell you how. They don’t.”
Jones pointed to a study conducted by a group of Ohio students which found that Black children were chronically absent 60% more in 2020 than in 2019. He later teared up citing the results of a recent Stanford study which estimates that children who miss out on schooling as a result of the pandemic could end up earning 6% to 9% less over the course of their careers.
“I wonder, what would have happened to our family if I was a kid now?”
— Lawrence Jones, Fox Nation host
“If I seem angry or upset by this, please understand why. I see myself in those stats,” Jones said. “I grew up in Garland, Texas, a town outside of Dallas where 70% of the students were eligible for free or reduced lunch. I’m the oldest of three and my mom and dad both worked hard.
“They did everything that they could do to give us a better life and I’m grateful for them every day,” he added. “But I wonder what would have happened to our family if I was a kid now?”
“What if the pandemic cost my parents their jobs, or … what if they had to keep working? Who would have overseen my schooling? Who would have shouldered the burden of making sure my brother and sister were in front of a computer and paying attention? That would have been on me.”
The Fox Nation host and Fox News contributor wondered whether he would have been able to achieve his professional success if he was raised in a COVID-19 era.
“We won’t know the true impact of these lockdowns for decades. But we do know that our kids are hurting right now. They are desperate to return to the classroom, to some kind of normalcy,” he said.
“At some point, the pandemic will be over. Our kids will go back to school and maybe, just maybe, we’ll forget about this last year. Maybe we’ll forget about the people who fought to keep our classrooms closed, even when the science said it was bad for our kids. But don’t do it. Never forget,” Jones concluded.
“Take action and vote out the governors, the mayors, the school board and city council members who put the demands of the unions ahead of the health and well-being of our children. Remember this is America. You have the power to fight back. So stand up and make sure that the people who locked up your children never have the chance to do it ever again.”
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