One of the mistakes commonly made during the recent public debate over whether to open schools this fall or conduct classes online has been to consider the ramifications only in the context of students, educators and their families. This is understandable. No one is more directly affected. But during the worst pandemic to hit this nation in a century, schools — public and private — must also be looked upon as potential transmission sites in the same way that bars, restaurants, churches, businesses and every other place where the public might gather must be. This isn’t just about keeping young Tommy or Tamika safe, or their extended families or even their teachers, but about keeping the broader communities safe until COVID-19 is under reasonable control.
That’s why Gov. Larry Hogan’s abrupt decision this week to grant special status to schools by amending an emergency statewide order to prevent local health