Local parents share their COVID-19 concerns as students prepare to return to the classroom

What’s on your mind as the academic school year begins?

Classroom (Pixabay)

HOUSTON – As students head back to school, COVID-19 cases are again surging, threatening to overwhelm hospitals. Public health experts are sounding the alarm over the delta variant of the virus. And, without any state funds for remote learning this year, school districts are rushing to figure out how best to protect their students while grappling with Gov. Greg Abbott’s prohibition against masking mandates in schools.

Amid so much uncertainty, parents are trying to decide how best to protect their children while ensuring they receiving a solid education this school year.

We asked parents what thoughts, questions and concerns they had as the academic school year approaches.

“I’m concerned about maskless staff members who only put on masks because they were required to and who aren’t vaccinated.” - Shannon

“Please give us the choice between virtual and in person.” - Noura

“I am full of gratitude for our teachers! They have done and endured so much to help us through this pandemic, including putting themselves in harm’s way along with going above and beyond their job requirements.” - Dave

RELATED: Safety precautions being taken by different school districts across the Greater Houston area

“Masks and vaccines. This school year will get off to a great start if we get everyone inside the school in masks, get all eligible people vaccinated, and put the COVID safeguards back in place.” - Robert

“NOBODY is responsible for MY FAMILIES HEALTH!!!!” - Dora

“I am praying that all school districts will put masks and CDC guidelines in place to protect our students and staff, regardless of our stupid governor.” - Carol

“All kids need virtual learning.” - Tedra

“KISD only approved virtual school for first nine weeks for K-6. The rest of the students are not important in this district 🤷🏻‍♀️ no Covid safety rules or measures discussed with any middle school or high school parents.” - Mandana

“Their total lack of care for the safety of our children.” - Kevin

“I think parents should decide for themselves how best to protect their children. That said - I think funding for online classes and dedicated teachers needs to be passed ASAP. It’s not fair to force scared parents to send their kids to school with no mask mandates and it’s not fair for kids to be forced to wear them against their will. There should be options available for both situations.” - Lindsay

RELATED: Here are the start dates for Houston-area school districts

“Let the kids go back to school maskless.” - Antha

“My concerns is HISD is doing nothing to protect our children 11 & under. I don’t understand why they’re not offering virtual for kids 11 & under. Now I have to pull my kids from school this week.” - Heather

“Why Pasadena Independent School District has not released any protocol or what their cleaning plans are with covid or any details about mask the students or the teachers or that Pasadena isd has not responded to any parents about covid this year and we have no option but to send our kids.” - Amber

“I would like for Houston Independent School District give us an option for virtual learning.” - Martha

“Are you gonna gag the kids again...I mean make them wear masks?” - Amy

“My kids will be wearing their masks and taking extra for those kids who want one but whose parents don’t want them to wear them.” - Jessica

Parents, what’s on your mind as the academic school year begins? What do you think about your school district’s mask policies? If you have a story or any thoughts that you’d like to share about your children heading back to school this year, leave them in the form below.

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About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.