We’ve been asking listeners to tell us their thoughts about starting back to school. We shared some of them earlier in the week, but the messages have kept coming in.
Three Moms Struggle To Balance Their Kids’ Education Needs While Keeping Them Safe
We asked Texas Standard listeners to tell us what they’re thinking about as the school year begins.
“We have decided to homeschool our two older children under the age of 12 and skip pre-k for our four-year-old this year. After ER started closing around us due to delta variant and understaffing, we decided that we had no choice but to homeschool until they can get vaccinated. I’m excited, but my kids are upset. They cannot be with their friends. The only thing that would change my mind is mandatory masks and vaccinations for students and teachers.” – Erica Smith, Sulfur Springs Texas
“I’m a mother with two kids, one in middle school and one in fifth grade. My fifth grader has been so excited to go back to school this year and has really, really missed the in-person education. Both of my kids stayed home for virtual school all year. Last year, my daughter was able to complete virtual school very easily. In fourth grade, my son, who was in seventh grade, wasn’t so easy. Going from class to class to class and different Zoom meeting to different Zoom meeting was really hard for someone who has ADHD and who already has organizational difficulties. It was a struggle and without my husband and his daily, hourly support, I don’t know if he would have passed seventh grade.” – Alison Kothe, Spicewood Texas
“I am the mother of a six, soon-to-be-seven year old who is enrolled in AISD. We did not attend school last year because we stay with my mother, who is high-risk for COVID. So it was my intention to wait until the adults in the family, in the household, were vaccinated, which is what we have done because my son has special needs, is autistic and requires some assistance. And I couldn’t justify keeping him home another year because he he’ll just fall further behind… But I’m concerned that there’ll be backlash for AISD requiring masks or there will be students who won’t wear masks or there’ll be teachers who are not vaccinated. And my son needs additional care… Regardless of where you may be on the political spectrum, that the leaders who are in charge of making decisions to keep our families healthy are not doing that. And it’s very stressful for me.” – Tiffany Conner, Austin