Collierville parents voice concerns, call for students to be back in classrooms this fall

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COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — About two dozen parents and grandparents took their concerns to the grounds of Collierville High School, calling for the opportunity to send their children into classrooms five days a week.

“I can go out and I can go grocery shopping. I can go out and I can do this. I can do that and I’m more likely to be infected with the virus than my six year old is and it doesn’t make any sense. It feels like it’s very politicized and I’m tired of the politics. My children are going to suffer,” said one parent.

“It’s irrational to try to social distance people that really aren’t going to be sick from this, if sick at all. I think the school’s personally should go back to normal,” added Leslie McKernen.

Currently, Collierville parents can chose from two learning plans. One is completely virtual five days a week. The other is a hybrid plan were students get two days of instruction inside a classroom and three days learning remote while teachers Skype the lessons into homes.

“There are simply people who cannot do the at home option. There are people who don’t have WiFi. There are people who don’t have the ability to stay home with their kids. Single parents, parents who don’t have certain level of income.”

“I’ve got family in the medical field and they are right in a patient’s room with the mask on so why can’t the kids wear a mask if that’s what they’ve got to do?” asked Barbara White.

The Collierville School District said masking isn’t enough according to Shelby County health officials.

“Our district is very large compared to other municipalities and we just did not feel comfortable saying that we could meet the six feet requirement at a 90, even 85 percent occupancy,” explained Mario Hogue with the district. “That’s why we needed to go to a hybrid model.”

Hogue said they’ll consider the protestors wishes and desires of those who petitioned the school district to add more classes to the virtual learning curriculum.

“We honor their voices, they’re frustrations and their opinions matter to us. This allows us to drive more decision making. We’re considering a lot of different variables but we want to hear from our community.”

The school board meets Tuesday, July 28, at 6pm at Collierville High School.

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