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LETTERS

If Boston schools are shut, private schools should be too

Kids climbed the playground fences after school at the Eliot School in the North End last week. Effective Oct. 21, Boston Public Schools returned to remote-only learning, after the city's coronavirus positivity rate jumped to 5.7 percent for the week ending Oct. 17.
Kids climbed the playground fences after school at the Eliot School in the North End last week. Effective Oct. 21, Boston Public Schools returned to remote-only learning, after the city's coronavirus positivity rate jumped to 5.7 percent for the week ending Oct. 17.Stan Grossfeld/ Globe Staff

In his important and influential book “How to Be an Antiracist,” Ibram X. Kendi defines a racist policy as a “measure that produces or sustains racial inequity between racial groups.” It is impossible to conceive of the closure of the Boston Public Schools while private schools remain open as anything less than a racist policy (“Virus on rise, Boston shuts schools to all,” Page A1, Oct. 22). Not only is it racist, but it targets children and the women who will most often become their caretakers.

Even if we question the growing and reproducible body of evidence that elementary schools are not significant drivers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, there is no world in which indoor dining, known to drive transmission, and private schools and colleges should remain open while public schools are closed for our most at-risk families. If the powers that be determine that it is too dangerous for any in-person schooling, so be it, but the current discriminatory policy is unacceptable.

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I fear that 20 years from now, I will still be reading editorials about the continued persistence of disparities in achievement and power in Boston. If we can’t even do equality, how can we get to equity?

Gareth Marshall

Boston