PLYMOUTH, Mass. — Plymouth mom Teri Morse says her son does in-person learning two days a week and it’s not enough.
“He can’t focus and I worry he’s going to fall behind,” said Morse. “It’s just awful and it’s so frustrating to live in this town and see all the surrounding towns go to school and we are not doing anything until like the end of April. At that point, like, what’s the point?”
Those surrounding towns from Massachusetts to New Hampshire run the gamut: some hybrid, some in-person, and some fully remote.
In New Hampshire, Gov. Chris Sununu wants to take that last option completely off the table.
“We can get the teachers vaccinated, but the data is all very clear,” said Sununu. “Whether it’s the CDC, the state, everyone has said that there’s no reason that these schools cannot open even without a vaccination.”
So starting March 8, Gov. Sununu’s new executive order will mandate all students be given the option to learn in-person at least two days a week
“I have the luxury of working from home and not every parent has that luxury,” said parent Sue Ann Johnson. “If you’re a parent working every day and you don’t want to leave your kids home and you don’t want to necessarily be forced to put them back in school if you don’t think they are safe... so all schools offering two days a week in person is probably a good thing as long as it’s not mandated to the families.”
Families will still have a choice and for Nadya Johnson, it’s an easy one.
“There are always network connection errors,” said Johnson. “Teachers aren’t really engaging as much as if you were in school.”
Back in Plymouth, Morse says she is jealous that New Hampshire’s governor is stepping in to make some kind of mandate and since that’s not happening in Massachusetts, she and some friends will have to scream a little louder.
“They’re planning to stand outside and have some sort of a protest outside of the school committee meeting to see... I don’t know,” said Morse. “I don’t even know if it’ll make a difference.”
Governors in both states have one thing in common, the realization that they cannot and will not please everybody.
Sununu did put a caveat on his executive order saying the two-day rule will be in place as long as there is no significant COVID outbreak, which he says so far hasn’t happened, only a handful of clusters.
“I’ve long said we need to get our kids back in the classroom, and today’s action is a step in the right direction,” Sununu said. ‘The data is there, the will of the kids is there, the will of the parents is there - and that’s what we are doing at the state level.”
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