Mixed reactions from parents as Escambia County, FL schools resume amid pandemic

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — It’s the first day of school Escambia County, Florida.  This year is a school year like no other with a large number of students taking classes via computer and new measures at brick and mortar schools to keep kids safer from illness. 

As students take small steps into Montclair Elementary, parents try to remain optimistic that the big step of sending their tots to teachers in-person is the right call. This as the Coronavirus pandemic still looms nationwide.

“It’s a serious thing to worry about but as long as they keep masks on keep hands sanitized, wash hands I believe everything will be alright I’m kinda worried but I put it in God’s hands though,” said a parent named Jermel in the car drop-off line. Some parents were in the middle.

“I’m kind of torn in-between, I’m not comfortable with it, but it’s something that’s mandatory,” said parent Troy Holt. Some parents I spoke with weren’t worried about the virus, at least one mom felt the state should not have reopened schools.

“We don’t know if someone is going to send their child that has the COVID-19 and they don’t know they have it and it can be spread here,” said parent Michelle Taylor. Roughly half of all students in the district aren’t showing up in person–opting for taking classes via computer. With so many students using the virtual school or remote learning, keeping distance and class sizes will be more manageable for the kids inside.

“Our class sizes are much smaller than they typically are, sometimes half or a little more than half,” said Montclair Elementary Principal Hollie Wilkins. School officials say safety will be a team effort between teachers, kids, and parents.

“If you think you feel sick this is not the year to press on and try to be the tough person and go on to work or go on to school,” said Escambia County Superintendent of Schools Malcolm Thomas.

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