Smith County schools closed for two weeks due to rising COVID cases


SMITH COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – The first weeks of school have been difficult in Smith County. There have been dozens of COVID-19 cases, including one case were a 13-year-old girl died.

“We’re sort of on a steady climb every day. We have three or four people at each school that tests positive,” said Smith County School District Superintendent Nick Hillman.

Nearly 700 people, staff and mostly students have been placed in quarantine. All those numbers are leading the district to take action by temporarily closing for two weeks.

Peggy Harrison, who is a parent, is angry that students will have to return to in-person learning in two weeks.

“It’s a piece of crap. I mean, the students are suffering,” said Harrison. “It makes me so mad. I want to cry about it. Do not send your child to school. Homeschool them.”

The superintendent believes in-person instruction is the best course of action. He said the district will struggle going virtual for many reasons, including poor internet access in rural areas.

“Nothing takes the place of face to face and that’s just the way I feel about it. We’re going to do everything we can to keep it,” said Hillman. “I want parents to help us the best they can with the situation we have right now.”

The State Board of Education will hold a virtual meeting on Thursday, August 19.

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