Hoosier parents speak out about getting kids back in the classrooms

By Lucélia Ribeiro (Children at school) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Many school districts are choosing to give parents an in-classroom option, along with an e-learning option to start the school year. Some parents are sending their kids back and have no misgivings or nervousness about coronavirus transmission.

“We’re comfortable with it. Our kids are going into 1st and 3rd grade and it seems like the plan that the district put out is gonna keep the kids as safe as they can,” said Stephanie Thomas, of Carmel. She said the kids have been in summer camp all summer without any issues. They disinfect their belongings every night.

“We’re also not as concerned with it being kids and some of the evidence that shows that kids kind of aren’t getting as sick from it,” said Thomas. “Both of our kids really thrived in class and struggled once we went to e-learning.”

Gov. Holcomb and the state’s secretary of Family and Social Services, Dr. Jennifer Sullivan, say the kids need school.

“Most have been without the structure of a classroom and access to many enriching life experiences since mid-March,” said Sullivan, also a pediatrician. “While some students have responded well to e-learning instruction, others are struggling.”

Sullivan pointed out that well-being is supported by in-classroom learning, which also includes social interaction, food security, mental health and safety.

“I think the online stuff, they lost a component of give and take between the teachers,” said Josh Rodgers, of Franklin. “I found that they got their homework done super fast and as a parent it made me wonder what the rest of the time in school is spent for.”

Rodgers said he is sending his kids back to school without reservation. He said his 5th grader learned online for the last quarter of school, but he isn’t sure that she got anything out of it.

Rodgers does not believe that the coronavirus pandemic is as bad as some medical experts and media would have people believe and says he’s putting his faith in God to get he and his family through anything that might happen.If schools keep getting delayed, he’s ready to go the opposite way and teach the kids himself.

“I am honestly looking at home schooling, with that in my back pocket,” he said. “If it comes to that I’ll just make the necessary sacrifices and I think they’ll retain more because they’ll have that interaction face to face.”

Thomas said she’ll be disappointed if schools don’t open when promised.

“My husband and I both work full time. I was working from home when we went to e-learning last year and it was extremely difficult to juggle it all,” she said.

Gov. Holcomb echoed the last sentiment in a Wednesday news conference updating the state on coronavirus and announcing a mask mandate that includes kids returning to school in 3rd grade and above.

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