Public and private schools in the city of Gulfport, Mississippi, have learned the hard way of how the district education system falters during pandemic situations. Over the past few months, the COVID-19 health crisis has compelled the Gulfport District Schools to stay shut and stop operations. During this time, school administrations have also faced difficulties in catering to the growing queries and concerns of parents.
Parents of these students are worried about the reopening plans of the Gulfport District Schools. Hence, a group of Gulfport citizens has been assembled to appeal to these schools with a proper and safe return-to-school plan.
According to the city news, a local group called “We All Matter” has been appealing to district schools in the Gulfport city and ensuring that their students experience safe education when the COVID-19 lockdowns are effectively lifted. The group has concerns about the current racial, socioeconomic, and political backdrop of the country, in the wake of recent terrifying events on police brutality, loss of employment, and race crimes.
Gail Tart, a member of We All Matter group and a citizen of the Gulfport city, shares the concerns of parents in keeping their children safe. The group is working towards building a more robust educational community in the town, where no student gets ill-treated on the grounds of race, color, and socioeconomic status. In addition to this, the key objective of We All Matter is to safeguard the public hygiene and healthcare system of the city. Since the local city hospitals are already falling short of beds and ventilators to treat the rising number of COVID-19 patients, students who resume schools must not get infected by the novel coronavirus.
The Gulfport families have multigenerational homes and do not want their children to bring the COVID-19 infection home. This will not only risk the lives of the children but also accelerate the spread of the pandemic in the city. As a strict safety measure, the School Superintendent of Gulfport, Glen East, ordered to admit only those children and students that have been accustomed to wearing masks and haven’t shown the COVID-19 symptoms for two weeks.
The Gulfport K-12 system is implementing new programs for ensuring a safe back-to-school plan. A universal approach of distance learning is being put on the table and expected to be considered by not just Gulfport but over eighty counties in the state of Mississippi.