TACOMA, Wash. - Despite Governor Jay Inslee announcing this week that public schools can open for more in-person learning, some parents and teachers have reservations about sending kids back into the classroom.
Inslee says moving toward more in-person learning is in line with the latest guidelines.
Recently, the CDC released a strategy for reopening schools which includes an emphasis on safety through mask wearing, social distancing, but does not require teachers get vaccinated.
In the Tacoma Public School District, second graders are heading back to in-person learning for the first time in about a year.
However, some parents are concerned.
"I’m fearful. She is going to be eating lunch there, unmasked, with up to 14 or 15 other kids in the classroom. Adults aren’t allowed to do that, 14 or 15 different households mixing in one space," said Sarah Tomkinson. "That’s crazy. What I would like is for her to remain remote."
Tomkinson says her child is heading back to in-person learning on Thursday.
She says she wishes the district had a better way for providing information about the return to in-person learning.
Tacoma Public Schools data shows in January and February, 23 positive cases of COVID-19.
For some teachers, the return to in-person learning does not seem worth the risk.
"The definition, or the interpretation of the word, 'safe' by the governor and the decision makers at our district involves people possibly dying," said Jayla Watje a teacher with Tacoma Public Schools.
Tacoma Public Schools provided the option to families for all-year remote learning called Tacoma Online.
District officials say there is no waitlist for this fully remote learning option.