Tempers flare during NOLA Public Schools meeting


NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Parents are demanding that New Orleans schools offer students the option of taking virtual classes.

Thursday night, the Orleans Parish School Board heard passionate pleas, some of them profanity laced as parents and community members believe the district is not worried if a student dies from COVID.

The Superintendent though is reminding parents that there is a process if they want virtual learning.

NOLA PS maintains that the district is listening to health experts and following the science. The district believes kids are less likely to contract COVID in school. Some parents disagree.

“My kid is safest in my home. My home isn’t an 11% quarantine like my kid’s school,” said Daniel Zimmerman.

Another parent said, “Virtual school is what we need. Virtual school is what we demand.”

Some argue that sending kids to a traditional classroom could mean life or death as Louisiana experiences the worst COVID surge since the pandemic began.

“If we have to send lambs up to slaughter, you go first and we’ll bounce back,” one parent said.

Concerns like lack of social distancing, overcrowding on buses and sanitation were also raised.

At one point, the audience began chanting “shut it down” as the board tried to move on and did not answer constituent questions.

“Don’t send you children down there to be exposed and have to die,” said Sandra ’18-Wheeler’ Hester.

Dr. Ashonta Wyatt said, “Somebody should be able to answer for the concerns of the community.”

Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis maintains virtual learning is an option, but there is a process.

“The process first of all is to go to your child’s school and receive a form that goes to your medical doctor. There are roughly 33 reasons from the CDC that your child should participate in virtual. Have your physician sign that form and bring it back to your school,” Dr. Henderson said.

Click here for the letter from NOLA Public Schools.

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