Buffalo parents react to kids returning to the classroom

Posted at 8:59 AM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 09:02:10-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Some parents are breathing a sigh of relief, sending their students back to the classroom for the first time since last March. Others, aren't comfortable making the return just yet.

"I feel somewhat safe, but not 100%," said Halima Hussein, mother of two.

She will be sending her first grader back to School 31 on Monday, for two days a week. On top of being a mother, she's a full-time student at Buffalo State and works, so sending her child back will make things much easier on her.

"I could give her the support at home, but not the support that the teacher would give her and I was afraid that she would you know fall back," said Hussein.

She's ready to do a health check daily, teachers tell her students will be socially distanced, and she's confident her daughter will keep her mask up.

"I think she will be fine with all these changes," said Hussein.

She says she wishes her fourth grader could go back as well. Her children have been going to virtual learning centers to get her school work done, Hussein says sending her kids back to the classroom, is really no different than sending them there.

But not all parents are totally on board with schools reopening.

"Schools might be safe, but I don't feel it's safe enough for my daughter," said Keith Jones of Buffalo.

Jones' daughter is a senior at Bennett High School, he worries that other high school seniors are too reckless when it comes to following COVID-19 protocols, so he's keeping her home.

"She realizes it's serious, she lost a couple friends to [COVID]," said Jones.

Jones says his daughter is doing well in school virtually. He would rather see more money put toward keeping virtual learning centers funded for the rest of the year, right now they're only funded through March. With that funding, those who are staying out of the classroom can have somewhere to send their students.

He wants the district to keep the school population small, rather than trying to bring all 34,000 students back.

"If you don't open up city hall and all this other stuff, why would you open up schools?" asked Jones.

He says the district is doing a good job keeping students safe in their reopening plans, but he just doesn't want to put his family's health at risk.