Some parents uneasy as schools prepare to reopen

Students may be more excited about returning to school than their parents are. Photo courtesy Jazmyne Guy

The Board of Governors, the body that oversees Florida’s 12 public universities, earlier this week approved each institution’s plans for reopening their campus in the fall.

Many parents are wondering if this a great idea to reopen the universities — not to mention public schools — this August. COVID-19 cases are still going up by the day, which leaves many parents worried.

For the return to on-campus instruction in the upcoming school year, are still under construction final plans on if and how schools will reopen will be decided at a local level meeting,” Florida Governor RonDeSantissaid at a recent news conference.

As many parents wonder if their children will be attending their college campuses this fall, or will they have to prepare to do another virtual semester. Many students find it harder to work online instead of having a face-to-face class setting, where they can have a hands-on experience with their teacher.

Sherrie Craig-Evans, whose son Justin is a senior at FAMU DRS, said she is very concerned that the State University System of Florida approved reopening schools for the upcoming academic year.

I feel like the university system should not rush anything till they know for sure the COVID-19 cases are under control,”  Craig-Evans said.

Her son Justin is looking forward to his last year of high school, she said. But by the looks of it Justin is a bit concerned about the return  to school in the fall due to the increase of COVID-19 cases that are going up in his area.

There are sensible ways to blend traditional schools and distance learning to meet the students’ educational needs and keep them safe.

I will not send my child back to school with no plan in place and packed classrooms,” Craig-Evans said.

Other parents voiced similar concerns.

I think the reopening plans are happening faster than they should. I dont think they have put in the proper time to access any trends. I think the students as a whole should continue to wear masks and practice social distancing for a while longer in their local areas,” Tiffany Reed said.

Her daughter, Tanasia Reed, is a junior at Florida A&M majoring in journalism. Tanasia said she’s excited about retuning to school in the fall but her mother is still having concerns. She said she believes the government did not act quickly enough when officials first learned about the outbreak around the world.

I dont feel comfortable to let my child go back to school in the fall, only because as a parent of a college student I feel like students will not take the protocols and precautions that FAMU puts in place seriously,” Tiffany Reed said.

Parents are concern about sending their children back to school. Most parents do not want to take the risk of sending their child back to school without any clear precaution from the university. But many parents said they were relieved to know that there will be regular testing on campus to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19.

This upcoming school year many students are coming back with more than normal cars on the road. I think people have to take the restrictions and protect each other so we can all make it through this with fewer fatalities,” Ashley Jones said.

Her daughter, Daaiyah Jones, a junior majoring in business administration at FAMU, said she is looking forward to going back in the fall. She has concerns about the way the university is going to take precautions while allowing as many as over 5,000 students back on campus.

It is exciting to know that I get to reconnect with all of my friends again, but it is also scary to know you have to always stay protected due to the COVID-19 cases that are going up by the day,” Daaiyah Jones said.