Are parents confident with sending their child back-to-school? Is it safe?

Miranda Ortiz, Photographer

With the decision of school’s reopening state-wide and new regulations for the student’s returning on campus, parents start to search for the confidence to send their child back. Many feelings assemble for parents, gathering questions and concerns in view of school attendance. However, it is understood that children and adolescents up to age 20 (definitions and statistics vary by state) represent less than 0.3 percent of deaths related to the coronavirus, and 21 states have reported no deaths counting children (The New York Times). As the delta variant cases increase across the country, an interference comes in between the decision parents have to make whether it is safe to send their children back to school in person. 

A strong majority of parents all desire to maintain a “normal” school environment for their kids–including classroom ventilation, social distancing, and teachers and students to be vaccinated in schools. According to Heather Schwartz, co-author of the report and director of the pre-kindergarten to 12 education systems program at Rand, she states, “The most frequently reported reasons parents gave for wanting to send their children back to school was that they perform better academically and socially – and also because they said their children wanted to go back.”  (U.S. News)

Parents debate if putting their child in school back in-person will benefit their academic performances, or in contrary, add-on to relevant disadvantages such as bullying, racial discrimination, or a creation of health concerns. In this case for Christopher Herrera, graphic design teacher at Downey High School, his concerns regarding his children’s safety and needs are satisfied when it comes to in-person school instruction.

“I say with Downey Unified School District–I have my kids in this District–the reason I’m sending them is because we’re very careful and they do steps and procedures to make them safe. Working as a teacher in the district myself, I’m aware of all the hand-sanitizers, hand-wipes, and air purifiers provided in almost every room,” Mr. Herrera states. “I respect everybody’s opinion, but I guess you should do whatever works best for your child. Obviously, if my kids had health issues and stuff like that I probably wouldn’t have them going to school right now.”

With an insight to what a classroom environment looks like in times like these and as a parent of two, Herrera notably agrees students are in safe-hands at school and behave accordingly in their academics in this matter. He states, “I agree that children should return to school because I think nothing beats a live teacher in front of you giving you instruction. I feel as if students perform better academically along with building communication skills or relationships with other classmates.”

“Now that we’re back to in-person instruction this fall, I notice students being able to help one another on projects and it makes me think back to the not-so normal times when we weren’t able to communicate with each other like we do now,” he says.