Local parents facing tough choices

Photo courtesy newsbreak.com

Leon County Schools has created a Distance Learning option and in-person option until further notice for all students as classes get underway Aug. 31.

The Distance Learning option was created to ensure the safety concerns of all students, parents and teachers. District officials have said that Leon County Schools is ready to work with COVID-19 and keep moving forward under the circumstances of a world-wide pandemic.

The district selected certain teachers for online distance learning. The students will complete assigned homework packets. Once the homework packets are completed students are asked to scan each page by using smart phone apps such as Notes and Google Drive.

If parents and students do not have the access to a smartphone or internet, each school has a mail option to mail in completed homework packets.

Leon County Schools will be offering food distribution for all students on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The district is working to ensure that the new normal is an easy transition for everyone. Even though many parents are against sending their child back to school until positive coronaviruscases decrease or a vaccine is created, some parents have a different opinion and are ready for their children to return back to school.

Gilly Thomas, parent of a sixth grader, said, “They need school. Life still goes on. I think my kids should return to school. I know the cases are rising but what age group is on the rise?

“As long as the schools have the proper requirements in place and are taking all safety precautions, it’s OK. I think kids need to be in school and learning in the classroom. I think at some point we have to just do it.  If I keep my kids out when will they ever return,” Thomas added.

Tina Stuart, a Ph.D. candidate and mother of two, says she does not agree with the guidelines that have been set by the district.

“It is not enough to save a life. As a mother, you know that children are going to be children. Children like to interact with each other and be the average kid. Following protocol and certain safety precautions with younger children will be hard because they have very little patience and no concern for their health because they are young. This virus is spreading rapidly, and it is absurd that it is even an option to put my child at risk. I do not want my child back into school for him to be in contact with other children when I have no clue of the status of anyone’s health or the other people that they have come in contact with beforehand,” Stuart said.

This is a  difficult time for everyone because all parents have different situations such as being able to afford care for  their child and ensure they are actively learning if the parent chooses Distance Learning. If the parent decides to have their child return to the classroom, are they putting their child at more risk of testing positive for coronavirus?

Christina Williams said, “I would prefer my child not go to school in these conditions. It depends on the age and the parent’s work requirements. Some families don’t have a choice. No parent wants to put their child in a harmful situation, no payer what. You just have to continue to pray for safety and pray this hurry up and ends.”