There was one Act more to be written to complete my midsummer tragicomedy, the final one, but I had to see things clearly before giving it a proper end and, amid the maze of distress of these first weeks, “clearly” was not a word I could use to describe any of my actions, which have been mostly fretful, clumsy, confused, accidental. But now, I can say I see all the pieces of the puzzle, particularly after a conference call, which has been vastly illuminating. Clouds are now gone. It was held by an eminent ex magistrate who is charge of safety rules in our school (RSPP) and the exciting theme was: “culpa in vigilando” . The usage of Latin suggested that it couldn’t but be a very serious subject. Latin is the language of law, after all.
RSPP😒 : “As responsible of the protection and prevention service of your school, I am obliged to elucidate some points of the recent dispositions in matter of Covid -19, as from your behaviors, it doesn’t seem to me you are fully aware of your duties, despite the short vademecum of 97 pages of guidelines I gave you to read and memorize”.
One teacher😤: ” 97 pages cannot be considered actually short, it was almost the length of my university dissertation and with no pictures too. I guess a list of rules of one or two pages would have been more likely to be followed”.
RSPP 😑(calmly):”Ignorance is not admitted by the law. You are teachers, after all. What are 97 pages for you?
The same teacher😤: ” A lot, considering the load of things we have to do these days”.
RSPP:😑:” By the ways, you must be aware of the repercussions of your actions, and that’s why we are here. First of all, you MUST bear in mind that the Covid, according to article 42 of the decree-law 18/2020, is equated in all respects to an accident at workplace.”
Teachers (in religious silence) 😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳
RSPP 😏(smiling): “I see I have caught your attention. So, being principals in all respects your EMPLOYERS as stated by D.M. n.292/1996 (general startle) , they are responsible of the safety and health in the workplace as specified by the legislative decree n. 81/2008. This is the reason of the 97 page guidelines. If principals fail in risk assessing they may be charged of “culpa in organizzando” according to art.2043 of the Civil Code, but if YOU don’t observe those rules you may charged of “culpa in vigilando”,art. 2048/51 of the Civil Code (pauses).
Teachers (still in religious silence) 😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳
RSPP 😑(clears his throat): “Let’s be more clear: if a student falls ill with Covid in your school, he is considered as a WORKPLACE VICTIM and if it is demonstrated that it happened because of YOUR negligence, you’ll have to pay the consequences”
Teachers (in unison) “Us”?😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳
RSPP 😑(sternly): “Yes, you. So, we’d better recap the main rules. First, you MUST wear your masks. When the students arrive they will receive new masks to be worn”.
One teacher😒 (sarcastically): “This is ridiculous. Students are all assembled outside school in the morning and don’t wear masks, their parents don’t wear masks when they drive them here and at the end of the day they are assembled once again with no masks; they quickly take them off, as soon as they walk through the school gate. But if one of them gets ill, I might be blamed. Excellent”.
RSPP😏(with visible satisfaction): “I may agree with you, but this is the law and we are not here to discuss the law. Once the students are in classroom, they must sit where indicated, and they can take off their masks, but you must always control they are seated properly”.
Teachers ( in the Meet chat, as he doesn’t want to be interrupted):” What do you mean by “seated” properly?”😳😳
RSPP 😒(a little annoyed): “They must keep the upright position and cannot turn, otherwise, they must wear the mask. If you walk along the class, they must put on their masks as you pass by, if you call one of them to the blackboard, you and those sitting in the first row must put on your masks”.
Teacher (in the Meet chat): “If I have understood well, while one student is at the blackboard, I should control that the others are seated still, like statues?😳
Same teacher😤 (mike on) :” Do you think it possible? So, any time Jacopo X., for example who has never been still in five years and in his entire life, I suppose, turns his head and, heaven forbid, gets ill, it is my fault, is it correct?
RSPP 😏(visibly satisfied): ” Exactly”. “And you MUST not forget to write on your register those who ask to go the bathroom and those who, for any reason, walk into the classroom, pricipal included.
Another Teacher 😤(takes the floor): ” Excuse me, but that would be hard to follow, if we were all in class, but it is not so. You should not forget that we have also other students on-line to follow. Students who have their needs, often connection problems. How can I guarantee, that Jacopo, as to mention one, does not turn, while somebody at home requires my attention or walks in? How can I demonstrate, I haven’t been neglectful?
RSPP😑: “This is the law. I cannot add anything more”.
Another Teacher😤 (takes the floor): “Let’s recap. Every day I welcome my students and check they have their masks on, once seated with one eye I control they are still, while with the other I try to connect with the students at home, if everything goes right, if……., I make the roll call, always making sure they are still and I have to record any movement in the class. Considering that those at home are allowed to disconnect fifteen minutes before the end of the lesson, when am I allowed to teach, actually? What am I supposed to do exactly? The guardian? The babysitter? This is madness”.
RSPP😏 (nonchalantly): “And, you MUST not forget to sanitize the desk, the chair and the computer you have used. You’ll be alble to find the products in the drawer “.
Teachers (speechless) 😶😶😶😶😶😶😶😶😶😶😶😶😶
Teacher 😂(writes a comment on WhatsApp chat):” How often have I told you, that one day we would have eneded up cleaning the rooms and the toilets of the school? Well, that moment has come!”😭