JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Every parent is facing a unique challenge in deciding whether to send their kids to school or not. But for Lakeisha D’Anjou, her youngest son’s life is on the line. Levi Junior is constantly in and out of the hospital due to a congenital heart defect. That’s why this year traditional schooling is out of the question.
It’s hard to break to a 9-year-old, who has already spent the past four months in a kind of isolation, that they won’t be returning to school when everyone else does. But D’Anjou is saying that decision.
“He wants to play with his friends. He wants to be outside. And he’s always like ‘Mom why? Mom why?’ Son COVID…Children, they don’t know how to social distance. They’re kids. They like each other. They want to play. They want to touch.” D’Anjou said.
The Mississippi Department of Education left reopening plans up to each district. But D’Anjou believes the changes and inconsistencies between schools are a part of the frustration for some parents.
The uncertainty is why all summer she’s been scrambling to put together a home-school option for Levi Junior. “I have been reaching out to retired teachers, my church, different people and educators, even people who were substitute teachers, trying to fish out the idea,” D’Anjou said.
However, now that the Hinds County School District has announced that “medically fragile” students and students whose parent’s request can do a full distance learning schedule, Levi Junior will be continuing to the 3rd grade at Gary Road Intermediate School.
But D’Anjou, who works from home, points out the unfortunate fact that not all parents have the privilege to stay with their child. “The resources are not there for some parents. They need to get back in the working field; get back out there so they can have a normal life,” she said.
The D’Anjou’s also have a daughter attending The University of Southern Mississippi. But she too will be taking virtual classes. They don’t want to risk her bringing the virus back from campus.