Thumbs down to the failure of many Connecticut police to get vaccinated. Some departments have come out against vaccine requirements, including Stamford, which reports that only 59 percent of the police staff have been vaccinated. Some city departments have a better turnout, including Danbury with 80 percent. Even worse, some departments did not — or would not — reply to the Hearst Connecticut Media Group’s requests for the data (including large cities Bridgeport, Hartford and Waterbury). Gov. Ned Lamont’s order to get vaccinated or take weekly tests does not apply to local law enforcement, though some municipalities have their own mandates. At a time when police everywhere face dangerous erosion in public trust, this is a step in the wrong direction.
Thumbs down to a report that showed more than 1,100 school suspensions were issued to 670 students in prekindergarten through second grade in the 2019-2020 school year. That this happened in spite of 2015 legislation that narrowed the parameters of when young children can be suspended from school makes the issue more urgent. “It’s absolutely indefensible,” said state Child Advocate Sarah Eagan, who said teachers need more support. Children of color make up some 70 percent of the suspensions, state officials said. Much of what is eligible for suspension is open to interpretation, but the numbers are clear that students are being shortchanged.