SLC School District Votes To Postpone Start To After Labor Day
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – To open or not open. That’s the debate that’s underway right now in the Salt Lake School District, as both sides weigh in on whether to bring kids back to the classroom or keep them working remotely.
Two separate petitions from parents have started up on both sides of the issue and the board voted to postpone a back-to-school date until Sept. 8, after Labor Day.
Amy Jordan, a mother of two from the west side of Salt Lake does not want kids to return to the classroom. She said her area is one of the hot spots of the coronavirus and it’s not safe for kids to go back. That’s why she started a petition to keep children home.
“The numbers are off the chart high,” said Jordan to KSL. “The pandemic is currently raging throughout our neighborhood. As long as we keep doing these false opens by opening schools and businesses too early then the pandemic will continue to rage and it’s our cost.”
But Molly Pearce, a mother of six who lives on the east side of Salt Lake, said it’s time for kids to get back into the classroom. That’s why she also started a petition on Change.org to get kids back into the classroom.
“I started the petition because I feel really strongly that my kids and every other kid in the district deserves the option of in-classroom education as safely as we possibly can,” she said.
The petitions are not just west vs. east, as residents from both areas have a variety of opinions.
Elza Bermudez said it’s just too dangerous right now to send her three children back to school.
“Keep schools closed,” she told KSL. “Stay home because it’s dangerous for my kids, for students for the teachers and for the families.”
Parent Taylor Randall, whose daughter is a senior at East High School, said schools can be made safe enough for students to return.
“[Students] need to be around people. They learn from each other as much as they learn from a computer screen. They are motivated by the activities they are in and they are participating in. It is energy for students to be in school,” he said.
The Salt Lake School Board had already made the decision to keep schools in remote learning. But last week, Gov. Gary Herbert updated the state’s color-coded guidelines so Salt Lake schools could open back up for in-person learning.
The board met to discuss this issue late Tuesday afternoon and plans to submit their plan to the state by August 1.
Board members voted to postpone the decision on whether or not they’ll reopen classrooms to a later date.
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