Wake County parents pushing district to open to in-person instruction

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Facebook group called "Wake County Families to Safely Reopen Schools" is gaining traction.

Kelly Mann, who has three children attending schools in the Wake County Public School System, created the page about two weeks ago. It already has at least 1,600 members. Mann said they've reached out to the school board. The group wants to see a plan for in-person instruction with safety protocols in place, such as masks and social distancing.

"I'm not pushing to have the entire school system return," Mann said. "I want there to be a safe plan, that teachers feel safe, all faculty feel safe returning to school. I want clear steps from the school board on how they're going to do this. I want a better understanding of why they haven't started Plan B."

The district originally proposed Plan B, where students would be on a rotation, of one week of in-person instruction and two weeks of online learning.

Because of the pandemic, the district eventually decided to begin the school year with online instruction only.

Emily King, who has two children attending schools in the district, is also in the group.

"The group growing at the speed that it is with the dedication to our public school administrators and teachers and a plan to open safely says that a lot of parents have a goal of their children returning to the in-classroom experience safely as soon as possible and they want to see the school board take action," King said.

Mann said the group is asking the district for a clear reopening plan of bringing students back into the classroom by October 22.

"There haven't been clear reasons why they have not started a firm plan, dates to get Plan B and students phased into the classroom," Mann said.

A petition by a different group asking the district to provide 100 percent in-person instruction has garnered more than 1,500 signatures.

The district sent this statement:

"The school district has received hundreds of comments from families on both sides of this issue. Our goal remains the same. We want to safely return to in-person instruction as quickly as possible. The topic will be discussed at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting."

"I do feel that the benefits of having children back in school safely, social distanced and in accordance with the tool kit that's been given by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services certainly outweighs the risk of COVID-19," King said.
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.