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Parents faced with tough decision of whether or not to send kids back to school in fall

HOUSTON – Parents are faced with big decisions in the next several weeks when it comes to whether or not to send their children back to school in the fall.

With the clock ticking, parents and school districts are waiting for more detailed information from state education leaders, even as coronavirus cases are surging around the state.

There’s a clear divide in what parents think, with some advocating for school to resume as normal and others who say they won’t send their kids back. But, mostly all parents agree that schools must be safe enough for students and teachers to return.

“I’ve got one kid in each elementary, middle school and high school,” said Almas Afazeal whose kids are part of the Fort Bend Independent School District.

After reading the Texas Education Agency’s guidelines for the upcoming school year, Afazeal says she doesn’t feel comfortable sending all of her children back to school in the fall.

The Houston Independent School District is expected to release its plan for the 2020-21 school year in early July.

“We’re looking at a combination. Of course, we’re prepared to be face to face. (We’re) kinda worried that we will not be able to fully implement. Face-to-face with all students and all staff on August the 24th which is our scheduled return date,” said interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan in a previous interview with KPRC 2.

HISD parent Travis McGee says he’s not sending his three children back in August.

“I love mine too much to put them in that type of situation. If I had the option to keep them home that’s what I’m going to do. If I didn’t have the option to keep them home that’s what I’m going to do,” McGee said.

He said he has yet to hear a thorough plan of how the district and state plan to minimize the spread of the virus through the school system when classes resume.

“Who’s going to sanitize in between classes and things like that? Who’s going to clean the buses in between stops? Who’s going to clean the lunchroom in between lunches? It’s just too risky,” he said.