SPS parents voice concerns for fall back to school plan

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- For the first time since late March, Springfield Public School students will head back to class next week.

Students will be in class twice a week, or full virtual.

But some residents in our community voiced their opinion against the district’s plan at the local school board meeting Tuesday night.

Parents and teachers both spoke out against Springfield Public School’s fall re-entry plans but for opposite reasons.

Two speakers disagree with the plan, saying middle school to high school-aged students should be learning all-virtually.

“I received a very touching phone call from a woman I never met,” said Caron Parnell, a Springfield Public Schools teacher, “she thanked me for speaking up for her grandchildren and trying to do what I can to protect her grandchildren. And honestly, that phone call brought me to tears. The mortality statistics, based on the number of teachers in the district, 34 teachers will die, 13 students will die. And that’s not okay with me.”

“You’re gambling with the lives of children,” said Tim Havens, a retired community leader, “let’s say the results are far worse than you thought they’d be. Where is your line, what’s your criteria to call this off? Is it how many deaths? One, two deaths? A family sick, a grandpa dies? I think your present decision is ill-advised. I think it represents negligence.”

But another parent also spoke saying should be able to go back to school five days a week.

“If we have a mask ordinance that works, then why are we reducing the number of days that children are in school?” that parent said, “my son needs face-to-face time with a trained professional in order to learn what he needs to in order to become a successful adult. By leaving teaching to the parents, the school system is harming family structure. I will most likely have to drop out of college in order to be at home with my child.”

Class will be staggered weekly with student’s last names.

Plus, if something happens in the community health-wise, students can be flipped straight to all-virtual learning within 24-hours.

For more Springfield back to school resources, click here.

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