Parents petition for in-person classes for high school students in Guilford County

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — An online petition circulating in the Triad area is pushing for high school students to have more options when it comes to the proposed school reopening plans.

A Guilford County parent started the petition on change.org after the school board announced its a three-tier plan for how they will address the fall academic school year. 

For high school students, the proposed idea is to have them do remote learning only.

“The scenario that is being strongly considered right now gives high school students no choice for being in person at all at any time during the week. It’s all online,” said Myers. 

Renea Myers started the online petition that has now garnered over a thousand signatures. She along with other parents in the district agree that high school students should have in-person class options when they go back to school in the fall. One of Myers’s concerns considers the difficulty some subjects are in an online setting. 

She describes what she believes students will feel.

“‘I’m frustrated. I don’t know how to do this. I don’t understand it. I don’t have anybody that’s really helping me figure this out, so you know what? I’m just going to just kind of check out,’ and that is heartbreaking to think that that’s going to happen over the next few months with so many kids that just can’t learn this way,” said Myers. 

Linda Welborn, district four’s school board member, was very vocal about giving high school students the opportunity to return to the classroom, and she stresses the importance of face-to-face engagement while learning. 

“Our students and teachers need face-to-face time,” Welborn said in a written statement. “I do not support virtual learning for high school students because too many students will not be successful with online learning and will fall further behind if not fully drop out of school.”

Even though the petition clearly states it’s not about whether or not it’s safe for students to return back to the classroom at all, one high school parent says it’s a safety risk overall.

“A lot of the students in her school being older siblings, they actually tend to their younger siblings, so if they’re going to school and being exposed then come home and expose their whole family,” said Tikear Frazier, a Guilford County high school parent.

Frazier says, for this academic year to work, it will have to keep everyone involved on the same page from family members to school leaders. 

“The student, the parent and the teacher, and if you don’t have everyone feeling comfortable and confident that their school will be able to maintain the level of health security that’s necessary to not have an infection outbreak then we have to look at other options,” said Frazier. 

The parents behind this effort can agree that a blended schedule of in-person and online is definitely needed. 

“Again, there are no easy answers to all of this, and again we’re not with this petition in any way criticizing or calling out anybody on any side of the issue, we’re just asking for a pause and a reconsideration on what might be the best solution,” said Myers. 

The petition has been presented to the school board. The next scheduled meeting is for July 28th. 

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