In advance of Monday night’s Kenai school board meeting, the chief of staff to Kenai Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce says it’s time for the Kenai School District to let students back in the classrooms.
In an open letter to the district school board, James Baisden wrote, “It’s time you give parents the choice to have our children back in the classroom with their teachers. Your decisions to keep schools closed is having a much worse effect on our kids and family then the virus ever will. Opening the Kenai Peninsula Schools to all grades is the most essential and life saving thing the School Board can do now.”
Baisden said the school board is harming children by keeping them out of schools.
“If big box stores and government can still operate daily because they have been deemed essential, so can the school district,” James Baisden said.
If a parent feels it’s not safe for their child to be in school, they can have the choice of keeping their child at home, and can continue remote learning online, he argued.
“Please don’t say help is on the way or coming soon, and you’re waiting on a vaccine. A vaccine is not going to have much positive effect in the near future, because 50% of the population will refuse to take it, including your educators,” Baisden wrote.
“As a retired emergency responder, I have seen the family situations that a lot of our children live in daily. Loving, caring teachers is the most positive thing these kids have in their daily life, and they need teachers back in their life now!” Baisden said, adding that the metric the School Board is using is not working, “and we will never open up the District under this system.
“The vast majority of parents that I’m in contact with want their children back in school now. These parents believe the School District is having a more negative effect on their children than the virus,” he wrote. Baisden and his wife have three children in the Kenai Peninsula public schools.
How to watch the Kenai Peninsula Board of Education meeting online:
The Kenai Peninsula School Board is meeting tonight at 6 pm on livestream.
Zoom ID: 708 024 188
Telephone #: (877) 853-5257
Conference ID: 708 024 188
When prompted for an Attendee ID, press #.
In addition, the meeting will be broadcast live on the district website. https://www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/