Metro moms weigh in on tough decision to keep their kids online this fall

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s an issue the Park Hill School District has already experienced.

During summer school, someone was exposed to COVID-19, which caused an entire classroom to quarantine for 14 days.

Fortunately, the test came back negative, but it’s something parents worry about while deciding whether their children will attend school in-person or learn online.

“I want them to have the best experience as possible, so as a parent, I know that I have some responsibilities,” mom Latrese Kabuya said.

It was a tough and emotional decision about whether to send her children back to school, especially during this pandemic when COVID-19 infections are spiking.

“This was something me and my husband really had to talk about and discuss and discussed with our children,” Kabuya said. “And we decided to do virtual because we feel that’s the safest and that’s what’s good for our family.”

Kabuya has five daughters, three in the Park Hill School District, which has given students the choice to attend school or learn online. Besides online learning provided by the district, Kabuya will be offering her own curriculum.

“We are going to do some classes on self-esteem, self image. We are going to do some Bible classes. We are going to do some art,” Kabuya said. “The school district is just our partner. We are responsible for children’s education, and this to me is just another way of doing it.”

Mom Jennifer Caldwell worries schools are not going to be able to control the spread of the virus.

As a nurse, she has seen the ugly side of COVID-19 up close. With infections increasing in teens and young adults, Caldwell’s concerned about the unknown long-term affects the virus may have on developing bodies.

“Even if you go into this with the idea of, ‘Well it doesn’t matter because kids aren’t really getting sick and dying from it,’ they are still vectors of the virus,” Caldwell said.

In her experience, Caldwell believes the general public, much less teenagers, don’t truly understand proper infection control. For her, the risks outweigh the benefits of her daughter going back to school.

“It was a conversation that her and I had,” Caldwell said. “I wanted to respect her opinion and her thoughts on it, but at the end of the day, I’m the parent and it’s my job to make her safe.”

Both moms said they believe the number one most important thing is for parents is to support each other through this very difficult time.

What’s good for one family might not be the right choice for another.

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