Parents raise concerns over Forsyth County Schools District's back to school plan

Some Forsyth County school parents are worried about their safety over back-to-school policies laid out by the district. 

As of now, the district said it will not contact trace, quarantine healthy children or report daily cases on their website. 

"It just makes it hard for me to at least feel updated while they are there in person, in the building, learning with teachers and with a full class," said Krista Turner, a parent. 

Superintendent Dr. Jeff Bearden addressed the policies during the July 20 school board meeting.

He said their data from last year indicates quarantining healthy children is not a good strategy. 

"Very, very few of those kids, less than 1 percent, ended up being diagnosed with COVID," he said. 

Dr. Bearden made it clear, this could change if the department of public health or the Governor's office mandates it, or if local data calls for it. 

According to the newest CDC recommendation, students and staff at schools should wear masks. 

The CDC also recommended people who are vaccinated and exposed to the virus should get tested 3-5 days after the exposure and wear a mask for 14 days or until a negative test. 

"It just feels like a massive mistake and I'm very, very concerned about what the outcome is going to be from them deciding it's business as usual and the pandemic isn't still happening," said Natalie Bucsko, a parent.

Bucsko, along with other parents, said their biggest concern is the younger students who do not have the option to get the vaccine. 

"In my household, we do have a 10-year-old, which means he is not even eligible for the vaccine yet. So, for us, masks are a very important piece because right now, that's all we have to protect him. And if the school won't protect him, what do we do?" said Kristin Lamote, a parent. 

Parents said the district had social distancing measures in place last year and don't understand why the district would abandon those safety precautions  

"It's much easier to prevent a widespread outbreak by doing what they did last year than to just say we'll just take care of it if it happens. Because at that point, in my opinion, it's too late," Bucsko said. 

Families made their selection for virtual learning or face-to-face learning months ago,  but the district did give parents a window of time to change their selection after the policies were announced. 

Some parents said while virtual was an option, it was not a viable one for various reasons. 

"When we send our children to school, we have the underlying expectation that they will be safe. We no longer have that expectation," Lamote said.  

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