VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Some Lowndes County teachers and parents say they don’t agree with the school board’s plans to start classes in August.
On Monday, a group held a motor march demanding to delay the start or go fully virtual for the time being.
“The cold alone, with my child’s asthma, once killed her. The idea that this virus can take her whole and the fact that people don’t care that work in the school system is ridiculous,” said Penny Collins, a concerned parent.
Collins was one of the parents who participated in Monday’s motor march. She has three kids, a 4-year-old with asthma, and a second and fourth-grader. They all attend Moulton Branch Elementary School.
“We wanted to get our supporters, teachers, parents and families to come out to send the message that we need our board, we need the Lowndes County School System to believe the data and know that we are in a pandemic and we need to act accordingly,” said Treva Gear, an instructional coach at Lowndes High School and one of the event organizers.
Gear said that with Lowndes County being a hotspot for COVID-19, rapid increases in cases and delay in testing results, there is a serious problem. She demands the school board delay the start of school or go completely online until cases decline.
“We want to teach but we want better solutions. We want transparency, we want our voices to be heard about what our concerns are. We still have a lot of unanswered questions about what’s it going to look like day-to-day. What our sick leave is going to look like,” said Gear.
Gear said starting virtually gives more time to put safety plans in place as well. With everyone’s lives at risk, she said teachers are concerned about their health.
“Sending kids to school right now is like going to the beach in a hurricane. Who does that?” said Gear.
The Lowndes County School’s spokesperson said they respect all of the concerns that the parents and teachers have and that they have both virtual and traditional learning options for students.