A parent asked the Glynn County Board of Education at its meeting Tuesday to reevaluate COVID-19 prevention policies, calling them contradictory and harmful to the mental health of students.
“I understand that your position is a difficult one and you’re trying to make the most sense of each and every piece of information that you receive,” said Stacy McLarty, who has two students at St. Simons Elementary.
“I’d like to point out that the policies from the school board simply do not make sense.”
McLarty said she combed through the information provided by the resources the school system is using to craft its approach to limiting the spread of the virus while providing in-person instruction. Resources include the Glynn County Department of Public Health, the state health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
They offer conflicting information, she said.
McLarty also questioned the logic of school policies such as not allowing students to use the playground but letting them play with equipment like kickballs and jump ropes, or asking students to wear masks while in class but not making them do so in the lunchroom.
“I’m asking that you put the children’s mental health beside their physical health, not second to their physical health,” she said.
Quarantine and isolation policies are overly detrimental to students and their parents, McLarty said.
“Being made to quarantine because of a seasonal allergy with a doctor’s note stating that this is the case makes no sense,” she said. “… The school is expecting a child to stay home, a parent to not work and kids to miss two weeks of school even if they just have a runny nose and the doctor has said that this is seasonal allergy.”
She asked that the protocols be reevaluated and changed.
“It’s time for us to get back to a normal type of school,” McLarty said. “Not many people will stand up to such a divisive issue, but it has to start somewhere.”
Later in the meeting, the school board unanimously approved the $32,160 purchase of a G-Suite Enterprise for Education. The software last year was provided for free but this year must be purchased.
All virtual programming this school year is run through the Google Suite, which will include more security measures once the program is purchased, said superintendent Scott Spence.