‘Kids are at risk’: Parents, teachers voice concerns about CMS reopening plans

Parents, teachers express concern about CMS reopening plans

CHARLOTTE — For the first time since the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board’s decision to reopen schools, parents and teachers had the opportunity Tuesday night to address the district’s Plan B+.

More than 40 people signed up to speak. Almost all speakers who addressed the CMS board opposed the plan, but for different reasons.

Content Continues Below

Numerous teachers addressed the board saying they are skeptical of returning to the classroom, even for two weeks, due to the current state of COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County.

"If it is not safe to be in school in April and May then it is not safe to be in school in August," teacher Ronnie Reddig said.

“To say I am terrified to return for in-person instruction is an understatement,” teacher Shannon DeJohn said. “I have never been more scared in my entire life.”

The current CMS plans bring back in-person instruction for two weeks. Students would be split into three groups and would attend class in school for three or four days. When students are not in the building, they learn virtually. Starting week three, which is Aug. 31, all students will learn virtual.




Parents also can opt for the Full Remote Academy. According to CMS, 15,000 students have enrolled in it as of Tuesday. In this option, students are locked into remote learning for at least a semester.

The deadline to enroll in the remote learning option is Saturday, July 26.

Numerous other parents addressed the school board asking for more in-person learning than the couple of days currently being offered.

“Risk is real, but we cannot use fear as an excuse to abandon the people we are supposed to take care of,” parent Trish Moody said.

“Kids are at risk and suffering,” parent Majorie Redding said. “You have to be strong enough to withstand the criticism of the small vocal minority.”

CMS said students will be eligible to play sports regardless of whether they are in the Plan B option or Full Remote Academy. CMS staff is working to offer virtual extracurricular activities.

FAQ: Confused about CMS' reopening plan? Here are some answers