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Hancock County parents react to school closings after COVID-19 outbreaks

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 5:20 PM CDT
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HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - As of Monday, four out of six Hancock County Schools are closed due to COVID-19. Although schools are closed, the work inside continues, not just for teachers but also cafeteria workers.

“I think that’s a great thing,” said Jennifer Underwood, a mother of three.

Like an assembly line, to-go plates were filled with warm meals and snacks for parents to pick up.

“I think there’s probably a lot of parents that whether they have their kids with a sitter or maybe can’t afford to feed their kids that the school is doing that, and that is a good thing,” Underwood said.

The switch to virtual learning isn’t most parents’ favorite topic. Underwood said watching COVID-19 numbers increase, she knew school closures would be next.

Four out of six Hancock County #schools are #closed due to #COVID19 . The district is offering grab-n-go meal pick up at...

Posted by Brandy McGill TV on Monday, August 16, 2021

“It’s scary with the hospitals being overloaded like they are; it’s stressful,” Underwood said. “They need to be in school to learn but it just doesn’t seem like it’s the safe thing to do right now.”

On the other hand, Maranda Speer thinks otherwise.

“It was a mess,” she said. For Speer, preparing to send her children back to school was not easy or cheap.

“I had to search for five kids for uniforms was very hard to do, and they’re expensive. I feel like it was a waste of money at this point if they keep continue closing schools. I spent all that money for no reason to have clothes for them to basically play in,” Speer said.

Parents also picked up Chromebooks and learning packets. Some said although distance learning may be best right now as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, they hope to see another solution to keeping their children safe without closing the schools.

“At least now we can plan knowing that they’re going to be home for two weeks rather than getting calls daily saying they’ve been exposed,” Underwood said. “I have three kids in the school district, so for a while it was one was in one was out, two were in one was out.”

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