SAN ANTONIO – The upcoming school year is around the corner and parents, educators and students are still voicing concerns about the potential effects of the coronavirus pandemic on an in-classroom setting.
KSAT viewers have been sharing their thoughts virtually for several weeks in regard to the 2020-2021 school year and the messages are more divisive than ever. Teachers have weighed in with conflicting views about whether in-classroom learning is the best option.
Some of the viewer responses sent to KSAT have been listed below. Do you have an opinion you’d like to share? If so, fill out the prompt under the responses and you could see your opinion published in our next Classroom Confessional article. Find other confessionals here.
Find more background information about where things currently stand with the Texas education system and the latest education news in our back to school section here.
We need to be proactive, not just reactive. Waiting for the virus to go away is not the answer. We need a plan and a promise to promote responsible behavior in our children. Send them back to school and TEACH them how to be safe with this virus.Anonymous
I’m an elementary teacher with asthma, and I don’t have faith in our school system keeping students and teachers safe. I’ve completed my will and appointed a power of attorney. I’m hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.Anonymous
My spouse teaches at a Lutheran school that expresses the attitude of “praise God the religious schools don’t need to follow all the safety rules like the public schools do!” And I’ve witnessed all summer that distancing and masking are NOT taken seriously by the school and child care staff.Anonymous
We are older parents of a high school student. We feel as many other parents do, that it is not safe to send our son back to school. We have a daughter that is a doctor on the front line and I do not want to put another child in harm’s way during this terrible pandemic.Anonymous
I am a retired teacher; I would not want to be teaching in a classroom right now, nor would I want to send my children back had this virus arisen when they were of school age. One of my grandsons is a physician--he is not sending his young child back to school in San Antonio this fall.Anonymous
Safety first. Education IS important, but you can’t educate a corpse. With all the unknowns, I feel it is best to err on the side of caution rather than create young guinea pigs. When a vaccine is available, life can return to normal - for everyone.Anonymous
I am a teacher. I have kids LICKING tables and pencils on a normal year. I can promise you that COVID will spread fast. Keep your kids home.Anonymous
Parent of 3, one has dual exceptionalities/health issues. I’d rather keep them home safe/virtual learning/printing pages at home vs risking them getting sick. We can catch up later however long that takes. Health is safety.Ruth
My child had strep throat four times between September 2019 to April 2020. I’m aware of superbugs and medicines given till finished. The pediatrician’s nurse said his classroom needed a deep cleaning. It’s not safe. Childcare is expensive. Funerals cost more and are a final solution to a temporary problem.Anonymous
My family has a different concern because we have 4 educators in the family - kids and grandparents that will be exposed. Some of the educators have family members with underlying conditions. There’s are many scenarios such as professional sports, prisons where people are testing positive.Anonymous
My kids all need to go back to school! My 4th grader has dyslexia and needs special help that I can only give because I’m working full time. My daughter is going to Pre-K and doing online, per the school. How am I supposed to help both of them? Remote learning is not realistic for working parents!!Anonymous
As an elementary teacher, I believe that facts about the virus continue to evolve making options difficult. Too many teachers and students live in multi-generational settings adding to the very real concerns about spread. While teaching remotely is NO easy feat; I think that is presently the best option.Anonymous
As a high school teacher AND parent, I believe we must return to school IN-PERSON. KSAT and other news outlets are ONLY highlighting stories of teachers who are scared to return to school. There are some of us who believe that online teaching DOES NOT WORK. The spring clearly demonstrated that.Anonymous
I’m a middle school teacher and I am very concerned for our kids, their parents / family, school staff, and myself. I cannot be convinced that a micro-droplet containing the virus won’t infect others just because it came from a child. The virus doesn’t know one’s age. Too dangerous!Anonymous
School hasn’t even started and positive cases of COVID19 are happening with staff returning to school, and CDC guidelines are not being followed. Who is monitoring the schools/districts to ensure that CDC guidelines are being followed? Where can people report noncompliance of these CDC guidelines?Anonymous
I am a parent of a severe asthmatic son. I do not feel safe sending my son to school. Or sending my other children that could get the virus at school and bring it home to him or my husband that had diabetes... it’s a big NO for us. I’m totally fine with home school for another year.Anonymous
I’m not sending my children back, we’ve been fortunate to quarantine at home, work from home and stay safe. How is it that as adults meet over conference calls to discuss sending our children into a germ-filled war zone with nothing more than a mask and purell? Prolonged face to face exposure duh.Anonymous
I am scared to death and looking at putting my will together in case I get infected and don’t survive. I don’t feel like the state has the best interest of our children, our teachers and our community at heart as they force this issue.Anonymous
Smithson Valley High School has had four people test positive for Covid since returning to work last week! Comal ISD was totally unprepared for the situation and it begs to ask, what will happen once all the teachers and students start?Anonymous
This is a joke. The stores are crowded. The bars reopened. Birthday party’s. Etc., You people aren’t staying home to begin with - send your children back to school. Fear didn’t deter y’all from having fun. It’s time to get things back to normal. Nobody fears the flu. So misinformed.Anonymous
I work for Judson ISD. People would feel safer if there was consistency across the board. Every time districts have a plan, things change. All this chaos and confusion with state entities seems politically directed rather than for the safety of students. Children should not be political footballs!Tina
If forced to reopen schools we are definitely homeschooling. We are getting familiar with the Texas homeschooling laws. There’s no way we are sending our 5 kids back to school. It’s unfair to the teachers and to our children.Patricia
We are ready for our kids to go back to a normal environment. We cannot continue to keep living with this fear. How are we letting this “virus” control us, It’s not even like this with the flu or other viruses that go around.Anonymous
How can teachers or students be safe when the special pops teachers have to go from room to room to cover conference periods? It takes one infected person to infect all classrooms and if the teacher is over 65, or compromised, and gets sick and takes it home - they might die as well as their loved one.Anonymous
I work for and have a student in NISD and will not be sending my child back to school. I won’t send my child to an overcrowded school. There is no way they can separate the kids enough to stop the spread. And I know some schools just don’t follow rules. I do agree that staff should teach from campusAnonymous
I am a sub, not going back to sub at SAISD even though I did my letter of intent to return. Not going to sub for a teacher who may be out with Covid-19. How do I know what item is contaminated in her class, like pens, markers, books, or an asymtomatic administrator or student showing no signsAnonymous
Nothing visible is being done to keep teachers and students safe by districts. Teachers are spending their own money to purchase DIY plexi shields for student’s desks. Virtual learning has been in place with online school since 2007. This is nothing new and can be done.Anonymous
How do you ensure special needs students with ADHD, emotional disturbance, and/or other mental health challenges will keep their face masks on? It is highly unlikely and unrealistic to assume all students will follow safety precautions. How many lives are we willing to put at risk?Anonymous
Will districts pay for the daily costs of hospital stays, medicine prescriptions and other expenses when teachers, staff, and students become infected? If a teacher, staff or student passes can districts be sued? If we expose family members at home, will their expenses be paid? This will be spread!Anonymous
I am a classroom teacher, and have been for over 11 years, and I have never feared going back to campus. I desperately want to return to campus and be able to teach my students but I do not want to see one of them get sick from this virus and take it home.Julie
What if a child contracts the virus and comes home and gives it to a single parent who dies? Now the child has to go into foster care if there are no relatives they want to take a sick child that is traumatized by the birth of a parent! Go remote until the vaccine comes out!!Anonymous
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Background: Face-to-face instruction will not be allowed in Bexar County Schools until after Sept. 7 due to a directive issued by the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District in July.
Most local schools are set to start the academic year in the next several weeks, however, teachers and parents are still concerned about the safety of students and faculty and how best to provide a productive learning environment.
CDC recommendations for in-classroom learning, in addition to wearing masks, include, spreading out desks, staggering schedules, eating meals in classrooms instead of cafeterias and adding physical barriers in certain areas.
Several San Antonio-area school districts recently shared their plans for cafeteria safety during the upcoming school year and it’s not just the classrooms that will look different when students go back to school in person.
While the Texas Education Agency has given school boards the final say regarding the reopening of campuses for in-person learning through the first eight weeks of school, some parents are researching Texas homeschooling laws.
The Texas Homeschool Coalition recently compiled a list of commonly asked questions to help parents who have chosen this route instead of opting to allow their children to return to classrooms.
One of the worries expressed to KSAT from a parent was what happens if a teacher or student dies from COVID-19?
KSAT reached out to several school districts who shared their plans for just such an event after three San Antonio-area faculty members passed away in recent weeks due to COVID-19 complications.
The replies were similar, with every district spokesperson who responded stating that districts would follow the same procedures already in place for any student or teacher death. All district spokespersons said counselors would be provided and available for staff and students if the death of a student or staff member occurs.