John James: School closures perpetuate 'most racially divided educational system' since Jim Crow era

Children's 'basic civil right' violated by lack of in-person classes, former GOP Senate candidate tells 'Fox News Primetime'

School closures due to the coronavirus pandemic are going to "set an entire generation back," former Michigan U.S. Senate candidate John James warned on "Fox News Primetime" Thursday.

"I believe that right now this is not a matter of Democrat or Republican," James told host Katie Pavlich. "It's a matter of policies that work and policies that don't. It’s a matter of what is best for our children and what is not."

The Republican insisted that "what is best for our children, according to the CDC and according to science, is in-person education."

"Right now, we are in a situation where truancy is at an all-time high, the achievement is at an all-time low. And if you can't read, you can't work," James added.

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What makes the closures even more harmful, James argued, is the fact that poor, disabled and minority children are most affected by them.

"Some of the people making these decisions still have Black Lives Matter yard signs on their lawn, and they're perpetuating the most racially divided educational system since the Jim Crow era all over the country," he said. "This is something that is is a basic civil right that's being violated, not just of Black children, of all children, but Black children are disproportionately negatively affected.

"Make no mistake, our education system was far from perfect before the pandemic in places like Detroit," he added. "The literacy level was far below, far below the national average. In fact, our state had to settle with former students who believe and I agree, that literacy is a basic civil right. I believe that a quality education means a basic civil right and anyone who stands in the way of that should be held accountable."

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James argued that "safely and sensibly opening is the Democrat version of 'repeal and replace [ObamaCare]'."

"When you hear that from officials, they have no plan, and they have no plan because they're afraid of being wrong and they're afraid of being wrong because they care more about getting re-elected than they care about our children's futures," he explained. "That's wrong. They should be accountable."