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School reopening sparks conversation for St. Landry students

Posted at 10:43 PM, Jul 28, 2020

"People are saying we need to go back to school, but it's not the right thing to do if we still have cases coming out here and there. We shouldn't go back to school. It's going to cause more deaths and more cases," said 5th grade student Elijah Ford.

So far, St. Landry Parish is the only school district going 100% virtual to begin the year.

We spoke with some St. Landry Parish students on how they feel about schools reopening next month. Many students do miss being able to see friends, but also understand that staying home a bit longer might be the best option.

Caleb, Elijah, and Amia Ford, all students in Port Barre, are like many children in St. Landry Parish who understand the board's decision for virtual learning.

"I was kind of sad because I really wanted to see my friends but then I understood that if we would go, we would probably catch the coronavirus and spread it," said 8th grader Caleb Ford.

"The unknowns are just way too high and the risk too great to risk anything over schooling, which we've already proven could be done in exercises online," added Opelousas High graduate Colson Fontenot.

Although virtual learning is a reversible decision, Fontenot admits having challenges while finishing his senior year virtually. Fontenot points out potential problems the district could face.

"Being on virtual for many, including myself, can be almost like a drag. It does put a pretty big weight on the different assignments," said Fontenot.

The school board is working to get 3,500 Chromebooks for students in the parish. A survey is also underway to determine what needs to be addressed when it comes to technology.

For the Ford siblings, they are remaining positive they will slowly be able to get back to school like they knew before. They would also feel more comfortable to return once the state is out of all reopening phases.

"The coronavirus wouldn't infect us anymore and it wouldn't put an impact on the economy anymore because it's going to be gone by the time we most likely are going to be out of the phases, it's going to be gone," said Elijah Ford.

"If the cases go down, I'd probably feel safer," said Caleb Ford.

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