Dilemma for local parents: online or in-person learning?

Photo courtesy Leon County Schools on Facebook

Pencils, papers, calculators —and masks? Leon County Schools reopened Monday, but this time with a twist. Back in March all Leon County schools switched to online for the safety of children and families due to the extensive spread of COVID-19.

Although there was a summer vacation in between the spring and the fall semester, school administrators and parents worried if it was a good idea for kids to go back to school for in-person learning. While some schools continue to do classes online, other schools are allowing kids from kindergarten to high school to come back on campus for face-to-face learning with a few new strict rules in place.

All students have to keep their masks on during the duration of school hours, little to no touching other students, daily fever checks, and if there is a student who appears to have any symptoms then they will be sent home for two weeks.

While the schools are trying their best to take precautions some parents are less worried about their kids’ health being affected by going back to school as they were before.

“I try to just tell my daughter do what we always do when we go out, be safe, wash your hands and don’t touch face,” pharmacist and mother of one, Bridget Clark, said.

“Treat it like a normal illness. I don’t think to many things have changed though on our end. Besides wearing a mask and hand sanitizing a little bit more,” she added.

Deer Lake Middle is one of the schools that are up and running, but this semester it is doing something different. One parent who provided only her name, Lindsey, has a child at Deer Lake.

“I’m not fearful of them getting COVID or anything like that,” Lindsey said. “I don’t think it’s killing enough people for us to be shutting down our lives.” Lindsey also said that the biggest thing worrying her about her kids going back to school is lice. “My kids have gotten lice from school before,” she said. “That is a more fearful topic to me than COVID.” Lindsey said she trusts that the teachers and staff atDeerLake Middle School are doing a good job with keeping her children safe while at school.

Some parents  think it’s beneficial for their children to return to the classroom and wish their child can be face-to-face rather than online.

“I don’t feel like the teachers are teaching them,” mother Qunisha Richardson said. “They don’t pay them enough attention.”

Richardson has two kids at home ages 16 and 12 and she feels her kids need to be in school rather than online.