JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - The Jackson County Board of Education voted Monday night to bring all virtual students back to campus beginning Oct. 13, 2020, citing data that many enrolled in virtual classes were performing poorly.
Superintendent Dr. John Strycker called it a “crisis.”
However, some parents aren’t happy with the decision due to fears about coronavirus spread within the school system.
“How do you know what you’re passing around and whose life it’s going to take? Is it worth it?" said Julie Hill, the mother of an 11th grader.
For Hill and her family, the answer is no, it is not worth it. Her daughter is currently virtual and wants to stay that way. However, Hill’s autoimmune diseases aren’t on the district’s current list of medical exemptions.
“We’re going to try to fight it with the school district. My husband and I have talked about it, and I am going to go to my doctor. By no means are we going to lie about the different, the five different reasons that they’ve given us to check off, but maybe the school board will understand that it’s too much of a risk whenever they see the status of my health," Hill said.
Strycker said they do plan to evaluate students on a case by case basis.
“What we’re doing now is we’re having parents submit if they feel they have a medical exemption and they feel that it is not safe for their child to be at school, whether it’s because of their child or someone at home. We will review that information," Strycker said.
However, Strycker maintains that based on the data, students are safe to return to the classroom.
“I believe it was Wednesday that we had zero student cases and zero staff cases, and that’s with 8,000 students and roughly 1,200-1,300 employees. Zero cases. The very day I think we had one staff and one student case out of 8,000 employees and 1,200 employees. So, the data tells us we’re doing a great job because that’s so far under 1% I don’t even know what that number would be.”
Strycker said those seeking medical exemptions need to provide documentation from a physician.