MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — The Montgomery County Board of Health is considering an order that would move all K-12 students in the county to all virtual learning from Nov. 23 to Dec. 6. Before voting on the order, they heard comments from parents and school leaders.
There was an overwhelming, often emotional plea from parents in Montgomery County asking health officials not to enact an order to shut down schools again and return to virtual learning.
“It’s a massive failure and even the fact that you’re suggesting this three months after you just did it, we’re back in the same spot, kind of speaks volumes doesn’t it?” one parent said.
“I can guarantee you that my son and his future will suffer if you do this, and that’s reality,” another parent said.
“You’re impacting families financially, emotionally. There’s no reason for this, there’s no data, it’s all fake,” Michael Napolit, a parent, said.
Citing rising COVID-19 cases and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, which health officials believe could lead to more community spread, the order would require all schools public and private to go all virtual temporarily.
Sports and extracurricular activities would also be suspended.
“We are here today to ask the Board of Health to discuss and vote on an order to temporarily require all schools in Montgomery County to support virtual education alone for the period of Nov. 23 through Dec. 6,” Janet Panning said.
“This order is a tool for mitigation based on what we’re seeing in the data, based on the increased in numbers, the increase in social gatherings surrounding the holiday,” Michelle Masters said.
As many as 50 parents and school administrators urged Montgomery County officials to let schools decide what’s best for their students, many saying there is no evidence that schools are super spreaders.
“By virtue of the angst that you hear and the voices of these parents it should tell us all that we must do everything we can to keep these schools open,” Denise Judge, principal of Mary, Mother Of The Redeemer Catholic School, said.
Parents are demanding a vote after a marathon two-hour meeting left without a resolution. The Board of Health put off a decision on moving to all virtual learning until 12 p.m. on Friday.
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