GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Many Gulf Coast parents are dealing with the harsh reality of their kids being quarantined due to possible exposure of COVID-19 after returning back to school.
After a teacher at North Gulfport Middle School tested positive for COVID-19 this week, 122 students had to be quarantined.
Shawna Dambrino, a parent of one of the students who had to be quarantined, had not planned for virtual learning this year for her son. But now, she has no choice and even virtual learning has its paperwork.
“Well, I mean, we have to do what we have to do, right?” said Dambrino. “So, if my kids are home, I’ve got to home with them.”
Dambrino said the adjustment wasn’t so easy to make happen and she knows it’s tough on everybody.
“I’ve actually had to take off work for two weeks while he’s doing the virtual learning,” said Dambrino. “You know I wouldn’t like to be the one that had to make the decision of whether to send these kids back to school,” she said. “But I do not feel that they were prepared.”
Dambrino does, however, appreciate the Harrison County School District being forthcoming.
“The schools have been really good at that,” said Dambrino. “So, I have to give them credit there.”
Willie Jefferson Jr. and his wife decided on distance learning from the beginning for their children because of family health issues. And they saw this problem coming.
“My wife and I decided, we prayed, and we decided we were going to do virtual,” said Jefferson. “And then all of a sudden we hear about what happened today with quarantine, and it was just confirmation.”
Jefferson agreed that it’s not easy. “I know there are a lot people out there are single parents, and we just have to make some tough choices.” said Jefferson.
If virtual learning had not been available through the Harrison County School District, Jefferson said he and his wife would have done homeschooling.
“I am so thankful that Harrison County did that,” said Jefferson. “I glad they saw the light.”
The students have to remain quarantined for 14 days, and parents have been advised to monitor their children for symptoms and follow all district health and safety protocols.