BRANDON, Miss. (WJTV) – Following Governor Tate Reeves’ announcement on his role in seeing schools reopen, we caught up with parents and students to see their approach to the fall semester amidst his policies with Superintendents.
From elementary to high school households we learn where parents’ mindset is.
We traveled out to Rankin County who won’t be pushing the school year back at all and according to students were not going to require masks once you sat down in the classroom. Some seniors are happy to be back, while certain parents are worried.
“I really don’t think we’re ready to go back to school,” Markesa Williams of Brandon boldly told us.
Williams is a mother of three sons in elementary school in Brandon. Working in the medical field has her on edge sending her kids back to class in person too early.
“They are small, there’s a lot of them and Brandon is a pretty big district,” Williams continued. “So, you really can’t just say keep your mask on. They are five and six so what are you going to do.”
Being new to the district, she felt lost in finding the school’s plan for reopening safely and what they will do to enforce social distancing.
“I went to the school to get them registered but there really wasn’t much that they gave me,” Williams said. “You know I have to really dig to get what I needed from them. They said everything I needed to get them registered. Nothing about school basically.”
Still needing to focus on work Williams feels no choice but to send her kids back. Meanwhile down the road, Landy Brown is keeping her high schooler on a full virtual schedule.
“He lives with his nana who’s older, she’s 65,” Brown explained. “Didn’t want anyone to be exposed and we just wanted to make sure it went well and at Christmas time if everything goes well then we’ll choose to send them back into the school.”
Given this choice by Rankin County schools the brown family does not see any issue with obtaining the same knowledge from home.
“We just act like it’s a normal school day,” Brown said. “We’re going to go to the table where the laptop is and sit down, sign-on, and schools began at that point. There’s going to be no interruptions and of course, I’ll be sitting there with them.”
Still, students about to enter their last year tell us it is too big of an experience to miss out on, and wearing a mask to save the year is worth it.
“They said we only have to wear them during transition times so we’re going to be taking them off after the transition times,” Gracie Wallace, a senior at Brandon said. “So, it’s not going to be all day and I’ll be carrying hand sanitizer.”
“I need that classroom setting anyways and I want to still have my experiences since I will not be able to go to football games,” Brandon senior Mackenzie Brown added. “And have my senior things that we usually do. That is the whole reason why I wanted to go.”
Students and parents of Rankin County we spoke to also stated desks in classrooms will not be spread out as their schools open up to 100% capacity. But will offer different lunch options. We reached out to the district for further explanation on their plan but have not heard back.