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Parents frustrated with lack of virtual learning options

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 10:36 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - One parent of a student in the Hinds County School District said her virtual learning application got denied even though her daughter has a medical condition.

She wanted to stay anonymous due to fears that her child would get retaliated against.

“My daughter was born prematurely, they’re more prone to illnesses, specifically, respiratory illnesses,” the parent said.

The Hinds County School District’s plan for this school year said parents had the option of submitting virtual learning applications for students deemed “medically fragile” by physicians.

Those applications were due May 14, and this Hinds County parent said the superintendent called just two weeks ago saying her application was declined.

“She told me that after asking me several more questions about our circumstance,” she said. “When I asked her why the application was declined, she said the district wasn’t offering virtual at all anymore.”

She said she doesn’t feel like the district is prioritizing her safety, especially since her daughter is too young to get vaccinated.

“These are actually human beings that you’re putting their lives on the line,” she said. “You’re putting their family’s lives on the line, and I don’t feel that that’s being taken into account.”

She said she was ultimately told that if she wasn’t happy with how the district was handling things, she could withdraw her daughter and homeschool her.

With the Mississippi State Department of Health reporting nearly 1,000 Mississippi students who tested positive for the virus in the first week of August, she said that’s exactly what she’s going to do.

“I’m apprehensive about it,” she said. “But at this point, I feel like that’s our only choice. But I would much rather the district step up and offer virtual as an option.”

We reached out to the Hinds County School District about this situation, but have not received a response.

The district is set to welcome kids back to the classroom Wednesday.

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