Parent speaks out as Bakersfield City School District suspends in-person learning

School Playground
Posted at 4:39 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 21:07:04-05

The Bakersfield City School District is returning to distance learning once again in light of a surge in COVID-19 cases. 23ABC’s Tori Cooper spoke to a BCSD parent about the decision.

Kat Clowes is a parent of a downtown elementary school student within the Bakersfield City School District and she says even though the suspension of in-person learning may disappoint students and staff she believes any step to protect students is necessary.

Clowes said the BCSD sent her an email at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning stating that the district was suspending all in-person instruction and support services due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in Kern County and that it will remain in place until further notice.

“We received an email from BCSD announcing the closure,” said Clowes. I think that whatever we can do to support the kids as safely as possible is the right call.”

BCSD turned down an interview with 23ABC when we reached out.

Earlier this week, Kern County Public Health released announced that over 900 COVID-19 tests came back positive. Across California, there's been an increase of COVID-19 cases reported.

Michelle Corson with Kern County Public Health said the health department believes the increase in local cases is due to a combination of impacts, such as more residents testing, and an increase of indoor gatherings now that temperatures have dropped. Corson says one of the main sources of transmission that's been identified is gatherings.

While parents like Clowes support the move for safety reasons the Bakersfield Elementary Teachers Association, which represents over 1,700 educators in Bakersfield, has been outspoken on Twitter about BCSD’s dealings with COVID-19.

Some tweets included statements like:

Even though Clowes is in favor of the decision she does agree that the pressure has been placed on her daughter's teacher to keep students in the class and at home engaged and safe.
“Seeing our daughter's teacher and seeing how hard she is working with all of the extra curriculum that she has come up with and connecting with everyone is above and beyond what teachers are expected to do on a daily basis.”

23ABC also reached out to the Bakersfield Elementary Teachers Association for a comment as well but they did not get back in time for air.