On Wednesday, South Dakota GOP Governor Kristi Noem, who has shown time and again she is utterly unintimidated by political correctness, appeared on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” where she stated that South Dakota’s children would “definitely be in the classroom” for the school year, adding, “Our kids need to be in school.”
Noem stated bluntly, “Well, the science is clear. Our kids need to be in school. It’s better for them; we’ve got a lot of kids that haven’t checked in since this virus hit. It’s really our most vulnerable population that needs to be back in those classrooms.”
Host Ainsley Earhardt asked, “Many of us are trying to plan the rest of our lives, and we are all just on hold right now, waiting to see just where we’re supposed to be, if we should move, if we should stay, if our kids are going back to school. When will governors, when will you all make decisions? I’m sure – each governor’s going to have their own timeline, but when are you going to [say a] definite?”
Noem replied, “Well, for us, our kids are going back to school on time.”
Earhardt said, “Definitely.”
Noem asserted, “Definitely. They will definitely be in the classroom. We have proven that distance learning is not as effective as being in the classroom. We think that kids have only achieved about 70% of the learning that they could have had they been in school. And then also we have a lot of kids that don’t have a stable home environment; they don’t have parents that are really being responsible to make sure that they’re learning. Those are the kids that are getting hurt the most. And in South Dakota, in some districts it’s up to 30% of the children.”
“So they need to be there in the classroom where these teachers and administrators can see how they’re doing, look at them, give them a hot meal, make sure that we’re taking care of them, and then make sure that every single child at this important time in their life, that they have the opportunity to learn, so they can be successful for the rest of their life,” Noem continued.
Distance learning isn't a long term solution. Our kids have only achieved about 70% of the learning that they could have if they had been in the classroom. In some districts, we lost touch with about 30% of our students.
The data is clear: our kids need to be in the classroom. pic.twitter.com/h90NvCRl4q
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) July 29, 2020
Noem’s decision to buck the trends around the country by refusing to implement stay-at-home orders in her state prompted some of her grateful citizens to surprise her with something – a parade. The parade included numerous vehicles, including firetrucks blaring emergency sirens, a pickup hauling a stock trailer, a concrete truck, and even construction equipment, as The Blaze noted in late April.
Noem tweeted, “I am so blessed to serve the people of the great State of South Dakota. You folks made my day!”
I am so blessed to serve the people of the great State of South Dakota. You folks made my day! pic.twitter.com/oy0e5KO9RZ
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) April 28, 2020
On July 3, Noem delivered a powerful speech at Mount Rushmore for President’s Trump’s Independence Day celebration, where she lambasted those who would erase American history, asserting:
Across America these last several weeks, we have been witnessing a very troubling situation unfold. In real-time, we are watching an organized, coordinated campaign to remove and eliminate all references to our nation’s founding and many other points in our history. Rather than looking to the past to help improve our future, some are trying to wipe away the lessons of history, lessons that we should be teaching to our children and to our grandchildren. This approach focuses exclusively on our forefathers’ flaws, but it fails to capitalize on the opportunity to learn from their virtues.
She added, “These ideals cannot be dismissed as the irrelevant opinions of flawed men. Our founders had their flaws, certainly, but to use those flaws to condemn their ideals is unjust and self-defeating. How many of us have lived up to our own ideals?”