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Why is there so much disagreement when it comes to our children?

On Monday, Porter’s Chapel Academy resumed classes, and this coming Monday, both Vicksburg Catholic Schools and the public schools plan to open. The public schools will also offer the option of distance learning.

The decision made by all these educational facilities to begin instruction must have been difficult, especially since the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow across the country and particularly in Mississippi and Warren County throughout the past few weeks.

I don’t envy the school administrators, and board of trustees and the decisions they must make.

No doubt, whatever the outcome, there will be some who criticize their decisions, whether it be due to a lack of the schools providing education for their child or if an outbreak of the virus occurs as a result of opening the schools.

The debate over whether to open schools continues on across the country, and I find it disgusting that in some cases once again something pertaining to the pandemic has become politicized rather than humanized.

This virus should never be used as a means to promote or tear down either side of the aisle.

It is discouraging that we have leaders in Washington who are taking advantage of the American public instead of promoting unity on all fronts.

In my opinion, these leaders have complicated an already dire situation, and certainly, for school administrations and parents when it comes to making the best decision on education, this has not alleviated concern.

And with the lack of anything consistent with the virus messaging, parents, I would think, are torn as to what is safe for their children.

A month ago, I watched a news program in which five pediatricians from across the county were interviewed.  All said it was safe to send children back to school. Some went even so far as to say they would send their own children back to school.

Also, there are incidents reported on the news where children suffered from complications of the coronavirus, and worse, some have died.

Then there is the educational and mental health debate.

Many educators are warning of a decline in a student’s performance if there is no in-person learning and the possible psychological effects without the socialization with peers.

You also hear about the safety issues of children who may be living in abusive environments. When away from a school where a teacher, counselor, or administrator may become aware of and report mistreatment, some children could be in just as much danger as that brought on by getting the virus.

There is no straight or perfect answer when it comes to knowing if children should return to school for in-person learning, and my heart goes out to each and every parent and administrator having to make the decision of what to do.

I remember my experience of only having to worry over which teacher my child would get and which friends would be in the same class.

No doubt, every parent wishes these were their only concerns.

Next week, when more of our students in Vicksburg return to school, I encourage everyone to support the hard decisions that were made.

These children are our future and I hope all will grow in knowledge. I also pray each and every person will remain free of harm from the coronavirus.

Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at terri.frazier@vicksburgpost.com.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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