I've talked to several teachers in the area, and the consensus is pretty much the same: everyone is concerned. What about you? Are you a parent or teacher? Do you think opening our schools is safe right now? As a parent, I'm here to tell you my decision on sending my daughter back to school didn't come easy.

Education is very important in my household. I have a ten-year-old child who attends T.S. Cooley Magnet Elementary, and it hurts my heart that this is my daughter's last year there. She loves that school and this was/is a special time for her. I would love nothing more than to let her go back to soak up all the monumental moments fifth grade has to offer. However, I do not think it's safe for her to go back while the worst global health pandemic in a century is going on. So, with a heavy heart, we are going with the Online Learning option.

I realized this decision had to be just as tough for my many family and friends who have kids or currently work as teachers, coaches, and bus drivers in the area. I've talked to most of them, and they are all worried.

I spoke with a friend who teaches eighth grade and he claims a dozen teachers have quit at his school. He fears more will walk out in the coming weeks as they refuse to go back because of the pandemic. He plans on teaching, but says he isn't happy with his school's COVID plan of action and thinks socially distancing his students will be a huge challenge. Right now, his biggest concern is there being a shortage of teachers.

A bus driver I know is debating on going back to work for several reasons. She has health issues like asthma and high blood pressure, and can't afford to get sick. She also has two bus loads of children and has to clean her bus between drop-offs, creating a lot of extra work. Additionally, she takes care of elderly parents and can't afford not to work, but fears going to work will put her and them in danger.

When I talked to my cousin, who teaches first grade, is ready to go back to school but doesn't think her kids will do well with things like keeping their masks on. She said she's deeply worried about her six-year-olds understanding the social distancing thing. I talked to a couple of cafeteria workers and coaches who are not going back to school. So, it's going to be an interesting year. What do you think? Do you think it's safe for schools to open now? Are you sending your kids back to class or going back to campus if you work at a school?

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