NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Parents are pleading for options when it comes to metro schools. Nearly 2,000 people have signed a petition asking for the choice of in school learning by September.
The petition was started by a former school teacher who has two daughters in metro schools.
“We really feel like parents should be able to choose what’s best for their kids and their family,” Morgan Barth explained to News 2.
As his kids enter their second week of virtual learning, Barth said he sees first hand this isn’t the best approach.
“God bless metro they are trying so hard, but it is not possible for a kindergartner or a first grader to learn online in any meaningful way. I don’t think anybody can pretend this is really school, this is not replicating the educational experience.”
Barth worries children like his will fall behind. He also points out the economic stress, saying while his family is able to pay for a sitter to help out other families can’t.
The petition says two categories of children that need to be prioritized and fast tracked for the opportunity to return to school; students in elementary schools and students with special needs.
“You know I don’t think there’s a one size fits all solution here and I think every family should be able to choose what’s best for their kids. We are reasonable people. I think this is a nuance message and a really thought out position and we are trying to find some common ground and compromise that just gets kids back in school,” said Barth.
Back to school safely, he said with new procedures and plans already in place.
“I think at the end of the day school is the safest place for kids even with COVID. I think we need to look at the things that could happen to kids who are unsupervised, who are socially isolated, who are not getting the devices they need at school. Purely from a health and wellness and safety perspective I think school is the safest place to be. Schools are essential really probably after hospitals and some basic public services I can’t think of anything more important than school, so I hope everybody is working hard to get them open.”
Barth added that if Metro Schools chooses not to offer in school learning in September, families will require more support. He suggests a tax rebate to off-set the costs of educating and providing childcare at home.
For more on the petition click here.
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(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )