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Palm Beach County superintendent recommendation not well-received by parents, students

'I think they should give us a choice'
Posted at 9:42 PM, Jul 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 08:32:40-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Palm Beach County superintendent has released his idea of what direction the district should go in for the upcoming school year. His strategy was not well-received by some students and parents alike.

"This group of people represents a multitude -- a multitude of people in Palm Beach County -- that want the schools open now," one woman said.

The message is clear as to why the group was protesting.

"Because I have to work and it's definitely for socialization and I think they should give us a choice," Melissa Smith said.

School District of Palm Beach County Superintendent, Dr. Donald Fennoy, released his recommendations for the coming school year. He's calling for full-time distance learning while the county is in Phase One of the recovery plan. But, he would like to see students in classrooms when COVID-19 cases go down.

It's not just the parents who protested who want their kids back in school, but quite a few students as well.

"It's very hard to learn sitting at home on your bed. It's hard for the lesson to translate over the computer screen," Kaylie Martling said.

Then, there was Logan Showalter.

"Not only is it much easier for me to learn in school, but also getting outside and moving around, talking to friends is extremely helpful for my mental health," he said.

Regarding the demonstration, the district sent out a statement that reads in part, "The district applauds and encourages input from the community regarding all decisions that will be felt so deeply by our students, staff and parents."

Monday's protest isn't solely against distance learning, but rather not having options.

"Not having a choice is removing everything," Smith said.

The school board will vote on whether or not to accept the superintendent's plan Wednesday. The board has to then submit their intentions to the Florida Department of Education by July 31 for final approval.