By Katelynn White
NASHVILLE, TN — Some parents are not convinced their children will be in a safe environment while in the hands of Metro Nashville Public Schools while other parents have mixed emotions about the upcoming school year.
“I do not feel like the school board will take the virus seriously. They should do virtual schooling until deaths are gone down completely,” said Nicki McCullum, the grandmother of an elementary student. “One child going to school sick can affect a bunch of kids. They are telling kids to wear a mask, but what about kids that have breathing problems, they are putting at-risk kids in an environment that will diminish their health.”
Although McCullum speaks candidly about her concerns, other parents show no sign of fear with their children’s safety for the upcoming school year.
Youth and Family Literacy Coordinator, Kathryn Cundy said, “I feel comfortable. My oldest is fully vaccinated and so are my husband and I. I have noticed that we have had a cold for the past month, so it does remind me that we still need to be cautious and wear a mask.”
In a recent press release MPNS said, “As schools come back into session, students and staff will be highly encouraged to wear masks indoors, but they will not be required and will be the choice of each individual or their parents. The district strongly encourages any student or staff member who is not vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear their mask while indoors, especially those who have underlying health conditions or who are under the age of 12.”
According to the MNPS website, the district has utilized the Metro Health Department guidelines to decrease the chances of faculty, staff, and students being affected by the virus. The district also had cleaning, transportation, and communication procedures set in place for all Metro schools to follow.
Sean Braisted, MPNS spokesperson said, “The health and safety of our students, staff, and their families has been a top
priority for Metro Schools since the pandemic began in 2020. We’ve made investments to expand our school nurse program, which is a partnership with the Metro Public Health Department, to support COVID-19 testing and contact tracing efforts, and will be highly encouraging, but not requiring, all students and staff to wear masks indoors.”
Braisted has told parents and guardians what protocols the district will continue to take. “We will continue to monitor transmission rates in the community and throughout our schools to make adjustments to our plans and protocols as necessary to further ensure their safety.”
The first day of school for children enrolled in the Metro Nashville Public School District is August 10, according to the MNPS 2021-2022 Academic Calendar.
By Katelynn White