Children are great blessings from God. Every child is a precious, unique, unrepeatable gift from Him. We parents and other adults are privileged to be their stewards, mentors, caretakers and leaders. During the past year, many children have suffered due to state-mandated lockdowns. Many people believe governors have acted unjustly, unlawfully and foolishly in denying children access to their schools, classrooms, sports teams, classmates, faculty and coaches. Child suicide rates have spiked, and many grieving parents have come forward to say that they blame the lockdowns and the governors who ordered them.
All work, no play for 2020 athletes
One of my sons was a senior in the 2019-2020 school year. He had worked hard as a runner on our local high school’s cross country and track-and-field teams. He was eagerly looking forward to track season that spring because he’d earned his way to the top rung of the ladder. He was seeded as the fastest sprinter on the team. Governor Tom Wolf robbed him of the opportunity to compete. There was no track season. The state locked down our local schools, and cancelled spring sports.
My children are homeschooled and are active participants in high school sports. My family supports our local schools in any way we can. We love our community. Our local teachers are awesome. So are the kids and families in our community. My son was frustrated, disappointed, angry, upset and sad that Governor Wolf robbed him of his senior year track season. Thankfully, my son is still alive to talk about it. He is mentally and physically healthy.
From rising sports star to suicide victim
An Illinois mother’s son had a similar experience, but he is longer here to tell his story. Governor JB Pritzker robbed this woman’s son of his senior year track-and-field season, as well. Her son Trevor was a star pole vaulter and had a good chance of making it to the state championships that season. Trevor’s heartbroken mom has publicly shared her grief. She said a devastating change came over her child when the state forced him into isolation and deprived him of his senior year as a member of the track team. He took his own life in October, 2020. Trevor’s mom and several other Illinois parents are suing Governor Pritzker. As plaintiffs, they each have stated that the governor’s restrictions caused their children severe emotional and physical harm.
The plaintiffs’ claim states that Governor Pritzker violated the Illinois Constitution, which guarantees people a right to equal protection under the law. Trevor’s mom has shared that her son was a healthy, vibrant boy who excelled in school and was a member of the state’s scholar program. He ran cross country and was on the speech team. After the crushing blow that state restrictions were prohibiting spring sports, news arrived that winter sports were not going to take place either. Trevor’s mom says the governor’s restrictions on high school sports programs was a causal factor in her son’s suicide, which occurred on October 21, 2020.
Suicide risk increased for those who struggle with depression
In the state of Washington, another family grieves the loss of their 16-year-old loved one. Christian was a young man who struggled with depression and depended on his close connection with a small group of friends to stay well. They understood his condition and provided a strong network of support, inspiration and encouragement. When Governor Jay Inslee locked down their state, the friends could no longer gather, and Christian became isolated.
Christian’s father was constantly worried about how isolation would affect his son. His worst fear became a reality when Christian took his own life. Now, instead of hugging his son and telling him he loves him like he did every day, he instead visits his beloved child’s grave. Upon one visit there, he found two teenage girls weeping by his son’s grave marker. He spoke with them. Sadly, one of the girls said that most of their friends have had suicidal thoughts during the lockdowns. In fact, she herself had recently called a suicide hotline but was told all the beds in the local youth psychiatric ward for suicide watch were full, and she’d have to wait. (WHAT?!?)
Pritzker speaks out in defense of college and professional sports
An attorney representing the group of Illinois parents who are suing Governor Pritzker noted a bias against high school students. She stated that college and professional athletes have been permitted to continue competing during the lockdown, which shows discrimination against high school athletes.
Pritzker claims that collegiate and professional teams have better protection resources because they have multiple locker rooms and plexiglass to separate players. The attorney representing the Illinois plaintiffs says that argument fails because the governor had not restricted college or professional sports in any way.
The CDC says 1 in 4 kids have contemplated suicide
Numerous studies have shown that governor-mandated lockdowns have had severe, negative effects on people, especially teenagers and younger children. At one point, the CDC stated that one in four teens who were surveyed had contemplated suicide during state-mandated lockdowns. This article provides additional information regarding an increase of mental health crises among the general population due to “mitigation activities,” which is a code word for “lockdowns.”
Children are at risk because of lockdowns
CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield recently warned that the number of suicides and drug overdose deaths during lockdowns far exceed the number of deaths due to COVID-19 in this country. In July, 2020, he warned that children, especially high school teenagers, are at great risk if state officials continue to deny them access to their schools and sports teams.
President Donald Trump repeatedly spoke out against Governor Tom Wolf and others, imploring them to end their unjust restrictions and re-open schools for children throughout the country. Sadly, many schools remain closed or are only allowing hybrid learning. These students alternate in small groups that are permitted to enter their school buildings on various days of the week. It is now February, 2021. The parents who have lost their children to suicide will never be the same. What happened to these families is horrific. It is an outrage. G0vernors, state health secretaries and others should be held accountable.
A suggestion for parents
Long-term isolation isn’t healthy for human beings. Parents understandably feel helpless when governors force their children to stay home alone and struggle with state-mandated virtual learning (which is VERY different from homeschooling). Parents, you can invite friends over for class time. Arrange social gatherings for your children with their schoolmates. Invite members of your child’s sports team over for unofficial practice and play time outdoors. A parent’s priority is always the safety and well-being of his or her children. Governors’ actions have repeatedly shown that they do NOT have children’s best interests in mind.
Many parents who are grieving the loss of their children’s lives have come forward to say their state governments have failed them. Their precious sons and daughters are gone. Children, ages 18 down to 9 and younger have taken their own lives during lockdown. This is a national tragedy and is also a shameful example of the devastation that failed state governments have caused. May God bless the families whose lives will never be the same because of state-mandated lockdowns.