LAURENS, SC (FOX Carolina) - Cristina Gentry is a single mom of two kids at Laurens Middle School who have been virtually learning since doors were shut post-Labor Day.
“Me, being a single parent who has to work 12 hours a day, and then my kids have no one here to help teach them throughout the day, that’s really hard on them,“ she said.
Gentry wants five day a week in person instruction, but says right now, she’ll take what she can get.
“You don’t know if you are taking them to school, if you are leaving them at home. It’s hard to adapt, and it’s hard to be able to have somebody there with them,“ she explained.
Gentry says she understands the risks of COVID-19, but feels that she speaks for working parents when she says the pendulum constantly swinging back-and-forth is a lot.
“We saw a 17 hour change last time before we knew what to do with our kids,” she said.
“We want to give families as much notice as possible,” said Edward Murray, communications director of the Laurens 55 school district.
Murray says the decision to go back to hybrid this time was able to be relayed with more notice because they weren’t reacting to an emergency spike.
“It’s about preventing the spread of the disease,” he said.
He knows the difficulties families face, but he also says the health of students comes first.
“Those numbers aren’t affected just by what we do in the school system,“ he warned. “It’s also about what happens in the community.“
His message to people in the community who want less chaos in their schedule is simple:
“Help us keep the numbers low,“ Murray said. “And help us get the kids back in school. Because we are anxious to have them back, anxious to get back to a five day a week in person environment.“
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