Many local parents want what’s best for their children, but their opinions may differ on what that would mean: To return to school or to not.
“It makes it a lot harder here. It’s easier for her to throw tantrums or run out of the bedroom, saying she doesn’t want to go to school,” local mother,Jessica McCasland said. “She just logs off whenever she wants and says, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’”
McCasland has a seven-year-old daughter in school at North Beardsley Elementary. McCasland was originally told kids could return to school once a week in January.
“But obviously I haven’t heard anything back, so I don’t even know if she’s going back in February,” McCasland said. It could be an entire school year of no [in-person] school.”
Coming up on the anniversary of virtual learning in California due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she’s not the only local parent frustrated.
We have asked you, the parents on our Facebook page how you felt about your kids returning to schools. We got nearly a thousand comments that were split. Here are a handful of the comments:
For returning to school in-person:
“[I] understand the potential danger, but then being home is so bad on their social development and their mental well being. My kids have changed so much it’s sad.”
“[My daughter] needs that social interaction. The mental health breakdowns of her and other children, [and] her daily begging mom please let me go to school is heartbreaking."
“If they have mostly everything open, why can’t they open up the school? My child was an A student and now the online classes are making her fail. I’m a working mother, and it’s not easy to keep and eye on her.”
Against returning to school in-person:
“Of course my kiddos need a social life. It will help them mentally. But I will not risk my children's health. My kids won't be returning until they get the vaccine. Kids won't keep their masks on, they won't stay 6 feet away from others, and there's not enough staff to ensure any of this.”
“My kid's health is my first priority and these adults are not responsible. I’m sorry."
As of now, the Panama Buena-Vista Union School District has laid out a quote "phased-in" plan to reopen schools, welcoming back small groups of students who had resumed in-person learning back in December. No official opening date has been announced yet.
Rio Bravo-Greeley Union School District has confirmed resuming in-person learning Feb. 11 with a COVID-19 safety plan in place.
The Rosedale Union School District has already resumed in-person learning.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported the biggest teachers unions in California are opposing the reopening, saying it's quote "unworkable."
So far, children under 18 in Kern County have accounted for over 11,000 of the almost 95,000 COVID-19 cases in Kern County. Kern County Public Health told 23ABC:
"Children in and of themselves are not considered a population at high risk of severe COVID-19 illness; however, children with certain conditions may be at increased risk.”
“Children are not known to be more infectious than other age groups. In a “super-spreader” event, it’s generally the individual circumstances of the event that contribute to the transmission, rather than the type of event. Any gathering of people, including school settings, has the potential to spread COVID-19; however, mitigation efforts can reduce that risk."
We would like to continue hearing from you as this situation is ongoing. You can leave further comments or message us on Facebook.