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Southern Schools Push to Reopen

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Southern Schools Push to Reopen

Schools across the country are struggling with how to educate kids this fall. The pandemic has made sending students back to school a risky proposition. However, parents, kids, and many US leaders believe it is worth it for schools to reopen in the fall. This includes the president. Particularly for southern states, staying home for another semester is not an option, and the rewards of reopening outweigh the risks.

Controversial Hallway Photo in Georgia

Georgia’s schools have come under fire for a photo, posted by a student,

At North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia, a student posted a photo of students packed into a crowded hallway. The students were very close together, and almost no masks are visible. The photo quickly went viral, and the school was attacked by the public for its lack of pandemic protection measures.

The superintendent of Paulding Country, Brian Otott, confirmed the accuracy of the photos and acknowledged the challenge that reopening has posed. He also defended the school’s decision not to enforce mandatory masks, calling them “a personal choice”. In schools, he said, “there is no practical way to enforce a mandate to wear them.”

Paulding School District, like most of Georgia, has given parents to option to send kids back to school or keep them home for virtual classes. Seventy percent of the parents chose to send their kids to school. Parents know that there is an added risk to going back, but believe it is worth it for their child’s wellbeing, as well as the practicality of childcare.

In Atlanta, the first day of school has been postponed to August 24th. The move was made for the district to better prepare for an unusual semester. All students will be required to wear face masks while indoors.

Mississippi Governor Pushes to Reopen Schools

Governor Reeves said that robust quarantine procedures and tests are the way forward. Talking to Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Thursday, he said, “We’re going to have cases in schools in our state and every other state across the nation that opens up. And we’ve got to do a good job of protecting them and protecting people in their communities.”

Reeves acknowledged that as the school year progresses, it will be common for children to test positive and quarantine for two weeks.

“We were up to eight kids there in that community in northeast Mississippi [Corinth] that have tested positive at this time … all of whom we believe contracted it in the community, not in the schools. But we have, in fact, quarantined over 100 kids in the schools. And by the way, this is the way it’s going to have to work over the next three to four months.”

As in Georgia, Mississipi gave parents the option to keep their kids home for virtual classes or send them back to school. The majority of families in the state have opted to send them back to school. Reeves affirmed their decision, saying,
“We recognize that we’re taking risks. But in today’s world, in 2020, there is no scenario whereby we can eliminate 100 percent of the risk.”

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