The special first day of school moments are something Folsom mom Vanessa Murphy looks forward to every year and one she’s accepted won’t happen in 2020.
“Although it’s a really scary time – we’re really trying to spin a positive look at all,” Murphy said.
Her positive is that her daughter Savannah will be at home safe from any risk of the coronavirus.
“This is my pride and joy,” Murphy said. “This is my reason for living.”
Murphy quit her job last school year to be at home while Savannah studied. This year she was willing to stay unemployed and a one-income household to keep her family healthy.
“I have a hard enough time going anywhere with her and feeling comfortable and feeling safe,” Murphy said.
Though, going back to class is a risk many parents were willing to take. Joy Mikey said she was hurt by the move to keep kids out of the classroom. She’s the primary guardian of her grandson, Isaac, who she says loves socializing. Being out of school, she said, has already taken a toll.
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“It’s heartbreaking,” Mikey said. “I’ve never seen this 10-year-old depressed. That’s crazy, you know. He wants to sleep all day.”
Mikey expects long-term consequences we may not even know about yet for kids like Isaac, whose mental health has been greatly affected by not being in the classroom.
“These children need interaction,” Mikey said. “They need to play.”
For her, distance learning isn’t the right solution.
“I don’t think people who are making these rules are taking into consideration the detriment to their mental health,” Mikey said.
State Schools Superintendent Tony Thurmond spoke to that on Wednesday. He said the state is working on finding resources for districts to try and make it possible to add more counseling and psychologists for students to utilize.
Most every parent, though, just want to know how distance learning may look different than last year and are hoping for an improvement.