Across Osaka, June 15 marked the first day back for many public schools. And although news stories have covered the staggered classroom schedules and social distancing plans, many Osaka public schools have unfortunately taken a “well if it happens, it happens” approach to protecting elementary students from COVID-19 risks.

My son’s public school in Minoh is, in my opinion, a perfect example of what not to do. The Osaka Board of Education is making Osaka schools a literal Petri dish of bad prevention ideas. First, the school is crowded, 800 children from first through sixth grades. Class sizes average 38 to 40 children per class. Social distancing, staggered classes or online plans are none. Kids are to wear ill-fitting cotton masks, sitting directly adjacent to other students, pre-coronavirus style.

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