Classroom Confessionals: ‘I think it’s more dangerous to return to in person learning this year than last year’

How San Antonio-area parents, educators feel about sending kids to classrooms

Education, student stock photo. (Ernesto Eslava, Pixabay)

SAN ANTONIOEditor’s note: Want to have your voice heard? Submit your thoughts on returning to school here. Watch KSAT’s Back To School town hall for grade-school students here. Tune in here on Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. for a town hall about middle and high school students.

KSAT is continuing the Classroom Confessionals series, where we ask parents, educators and students to weigh in and share their thoughts on the return to in-person learning for the 2021-2022 academic year.

There has been a recent surge of COVID-19 infections across Texas, and in Bexar County, the infection rate for residents jumped from 5.8% in July to nearly 20% in August.

In previous editions of the Classroom Confessionals series, commenters have expressed concern over the lack of virtual learning, while others have expressed their desire to get back in classrooms.

Gov. Greg Abbott has received staunch criticism from some commenters about his stance on mask and vaccine mandates, while other commenters have fully supported his decision.

For reference, Abbott signed an executive order on July 29 that prohibits governmental entities, like schools, from issuing masks or vaccine mandates. Texas schools must comply with the governor’s executive order.

However, several Texas public school districts are directly defying Abbott’s order and are requiring masks in schools.

Tuesday night, a Bexar County Civil District Court Judge granted a request from officials with Bexar County and the City of San Antonio and issued a temporary restraining order against Abbott’s executive order.

The ruling allows officials to issue a mask mandate in public schools and other guidance like quarantine protocols.

Major governing bodies, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, San Antonio’s Metro Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have advised people to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccine status.

Some recent viewer responses to the Classroom Confessional prompt have been curated and published in the list below. They have not been altered in any way.

We aren’t done listening, and there are still more responses to share. If you want to weigh in, you can do so below the responses in the prompt at the end of the article. Your comment could be published in the next Classroom Confessional. To date, KSAT has received nearly 600 responses for this series.

You can find more background information about where things stand currently and the latest education news in our back-to-school section.

I applaud Governor Abbott for getting us back to a sense of normalcy. If you want your kid(s) to wear a mask while at school then have them wear a mask. When is enough going to be enough? All the comments of disregard for human life, really? What about the millions of unborn babies murdered yearly.


We are in NISD. We pulled out 3 children out in 2020 when the pandemic first started. We have been following the news, science etc. We will not be going back to school until it is safer, until our youngest children can all be vaccinated. Everyones health is more important. We will homeschool again.


COVID can be scary and yes children returning back to school for in person learning is a concern. But I’m sure a lot of parents had their children out at beaches, waterparks, malls ect. We need to focus on our children’s education. They already missed so much. Wear mask, wash hands, prepare lunches.


scientific facts show that being fully vaccinated offers the best protection against COVID. why would I expect my child to return in-person with anything less than? districts need to offer virtual learning as an option for families to protect their children. if not I will be keeping my child home.


You people, UNBELIEVABLE. It’s a fact that Your kids K-12th are not in danger! All of you nonvaccinated families do your good service to the community and get vaccinated instead of listening to the negative media stories. It’s also a fact that students are NOT leaning online. WAKE UP PEOPLE!


I am a NEISD parent with a 5 year old, and this is her first year of school. It’s a scary to know that my child is unvaccinated and will be attending school without a mask mandate. I know that I am doing my pay to protect her but without teachers having to enforce it while at school is scary…


Remember we were told to reach herd immunity we all must vaccinate. It was a race to beat a mutation. We all didn’t and it mutated. how about reminding in a way that tells all to help others to simply wear a mask again. It should have been stated we have to mask again not rewarded without it.


Too much fear created by the liberal media. NO ONE is talking about the horrible damage to children’s developing brains at having to breath in carbon dioxide all day long. Look at the facts people. The chance of a child dying from covid is less than .001% This is nothing but mass hysteria.


Texas has not mastered safety against Covid and Delta. numbers do not lie and this is worse than Covid 19. Remember when we had to. The virus infects vaccinated and it’s passed to the children. If that does not say, everyone wear a mask, what else will? It’s not your disease, it’s everyones


I have grandchildren in SAISD and NISD. I wish Governor Abbot would get his head on straight but since that is not going to happen, I think the Federal Government needs to withhold funds from the state. This is the same thing Abbot is trying to do to the schools. Start with the government salary


What about the children? Everyone who took a vaccine shot now has THEIR shield. Our children do not have their defenses(vaccines). Don’t just leave it to the parents to mask up their kids . We NEED the community effort to shield and protect the children.


I’m most concerned about educator overreach. It’s far more harmful for these kids to wear masks all day, or, even worse, go back to distance learning. Learn how to socialize normally is a much bigger concern than the sniffles.


The school districts need to be advocating for the safety and lives of our most vulnerable population “little children”. The mask mandate protected our children, virtual instruction protected our children, so get off your seat and speak up for the children. Governor Abbot you’re a disgrace!




I am a parent in SAISD. I believe the governor is putting his party politics above the lives of students and he is absolutely wrong. A mask mandate should be in place for those under 12 who are unable to get vaccinated. Masks work, vaccines are effective and they will save lives of our children.


Doubling down on a faulty position is not leadership. Abbott needs to resign so we can have someone who gives a damn about all Texans.


Governor Abbott is a poor leader. He has made Texas an embarrassment. There should be a mask mandate in schools and a virtual option until all children can receive the vaccine. I’m seriously considering homeschooling. Someone needs to lead and fix this.


We have learned how the population needs to be flexible & respond to the many changes this pandemic has caused. Smaller towns are impacted @ different times than larger cities and districts need to be able to manage masks to protect the vulnerable accordingly. Kids cannot vote but their parents can.


My kids are in the Edgewood ISD. We were told, via fb posts, that virtual learning will not be an option. Make no mistake, children will get sick and some more severe than others. I feel EISD is letting the kids and parents down by not protecting them. Find the money, there has to be a way!


NOTHING but progressive talking points on here!!! The VAST majority of Texas agrees with the Governor. They want their kids BACK in school! KSAT 12’s audience seems to be nothing but progressives. This isn’t the least bit indicative of Bexar County or Texas as a whole. This is an Echo Chamber


I have a special needs son with a heart condition and a daughter with an autoimmune disease. My kids thrived with remote learning. I am worried about their well-being now. Please give a remote-learning option. I want my kids to live, not die. Please save the children, they are the future


I think it’s more dangerous to return to in person learning this year than last year.


He’ll (Abbott) do everything in his power to take away a woman’s right to choose, our personal freedoms. But he won’t allow mask mandates b/c it infringes on personal freedoms? He is a politician, not a health expert. Decisions should be based in science & follow the guidance of the experts.


This administration is a joke. If this was serious, the boarders would be closed but it’s not. The truth is that 2022 elections are coming up and the dems want mail-in ballots. I told my kids to.carry on and be kids.


Governor is unwilling to protect the most vulnerable. They keep sayin it’s the unvaccinated that are getting bad cases and dying- well our kids 0-12 are in the unvaccinated category because there is no shot for them. He should have at least mandated masks for all elementary schools to protect them


I no longer have kids in school. But, if I had to and I had no choice but to put my child in school he, she would wear a mask regardless of what the governor mandates or doesn’t mandate. That is the parents choice.


The city can find the money some where for virtual school.Our Young kids matter more than money.My kids have asthma and im pulling my kids out to home school since there is no plan for virtual.School districts and Government have to do better or they will be seeing a lot more parents withdrawing.


I have always liked and supported our governor until now. I don’t know if he’s playing politics or not, but he has certainly lost my support and the support of most parents and grandparents by sending the vulnerable innocent children into the perfect storm. Has he lost his mind?


I’m a parent of very young children all medical issues moderate asthma including. So I do not agree the children should go back to school just yet they should continue virtually .If we as parents have the say to hold our kids back we should definitely have say to have them be virtual


As a teacher at a NISD elementary school I know if ALL students and adults wear masks we can mitigate the chances of spreading or even contracting COVID-19. It worked last year and it can work again until we are safely through this. Unfortunately people are placing politics ahead of common sense.


The overwhelming majority of responses to the KSAT prompt continue to be related to virtual learning and concern over the lack of options for distance learning.

A report from the Texas Tribune published in June states that Texas law only allows remote instruction for public schools as long as the majority of instruction is in person. This means that the state will not fund school districts for remote learning, making the financial burden impossible to bear for many districts.

Earlier this year, Texas lawmakers failed to pass a bill that would have funded school districts for virtual learning, despite it being broadly supported by both Republicans and Democrats.

House Democrats walked off the floor, effectively killing the bill, in their effort to block a separate, controversial voting bill. House Bill 1468 would have allowed funding for virtual education in Texas schools.

EXPLAINER: Texas Democrats fled the state. Here’s why.

Want to chime in? We may publish your thoughts on our website or feature them on our newscasts, but you can remain anonymous if you wish.

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.