LUBBOCK, Texas – As the new school year gets closer, Lubbock parents and teachers share growing concerns about what the year will look like with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lubbock Educators Association sent out a survey to their membership and over six hundred educators responded.
Clinton Gill, staff at the Lubbock Educators Association, said one of the main concerns teachers had was social distancing.
“In elementary, it’s [a] 22 to one class size but when you get to middle school and high school, some of those classes have well over 30 kids in a classroom and so there’s no way to socially distance them,” he said.
Gill said some of the teachers with health conditions and who are pregnant also expressed concerns for their safety.
“It’s not anything about the teacher not wanting to go back into the classroom,” he said, “We’ve heard loud and clear that teachers are ready to get back into the classroom and be with their students, but they also want to do it in a safe and orderly manner.”
Gill said they are working with school district administration to make sure teachers’s health and safety concerns are met.
Ashley Russell, a parent whose children go to Lubbock-Cooper Independent School District, said she’s on the fence about letting her kids go back to school. She said they did well with their online learning classes when the pandemic started and she said she’d have to closely monitor the coronavirus numbers to decided if she would let her children attend in class learning.
“I have a kindergartner so she will be starting kindergarten in the fall and that’s her first year of school so that’s something that I have to think about and decide whether or not it’s going to be safe for her,” she said.
Marisa Carrasco has four children and a daughter with special needs. She said at first, her family was concerned about the virus and its impact. However, she said being away from school has thrown her daughter’s sleep and eating schedule off.
“I think that [for the] special needs community, [it’s] really part of their daily routine,” she said, “It really is part of their mental health to be in that routine and go to school and see their teachers and their friends, and their teachers [who have] become so much more than just teachers to them.”
Carrsaco said it’s a tough decision to make for a lot of parents but that she feels comfortable sending her children back to school in the fall.
“My kids have been at Lubbock Independent School District their whole lives you know, and I trust LISD,” she said. “And I don’t believe that they would let our kids go back if they truly felt like they were at risk.”