Parents voice concerns over Harrison County School District’s back to school plans

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As many schools across the Coast prepare to reopen this week, some parents in Harrison County are continuing to voice their concerns and requests to school administrators.

Harrison County schools are set to welcome back children on August 6th, but community members continue to have reservations over back-to-school plans. Faith Missionary Baptist Church Pastor John W. Davis Jr. said, “The safety of our children and our administrators is very important, and the teachers need somebody to help them out.”

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Parents made their presence known at the school board’s meeting and stood outside of central office beforehand as part of a “Our Students Matter” Rally.

While the district offers options for in-person and virtual learning, parents say they’d like to see a more concrete plan for the school year that includes more information on the district’s virtual learning platform and even advocating to push back the school year as COVID-19 cases rise. John Beavers with Young Leaders Alliance said, “Just put it off a week, put it off a few days, until you can get that technology in place and just allow everybody to be on the same playing field for their education.”

Other parents are concerned about the district’s requirement of internet access and restrictions on extracurricular activities for families who choose the virtual option. Parent Aldon Helmert said, “Other districts are allowing the students to engage online and engage in extracurricular activities.”

While the board did not adopt any new regulations or rules during this meeting, community members are optimistic that change will come soon. “Hopeful and will be praying about it.”

“Just trying to get everything caught up. I believe they’re going to do the right thing. I know they will.”