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'It doesn’t feel safe': Some Baltimore County parents want district to delay in-person learning due to COVID-19 surge

Some Baltimore County parents want district to delay in-person learning due to COVID-19 surge
Posted at 9:35 PM, Jan 03, 2022

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. — Many students in Maryland will return to school in-person this week, despite some calling for a switch to virtual learning amid a rise in COVID-19 cases.

RELATED: Here's a list of Baltimore County schools moving to virtual learning this week

“To me, it doesn’t feel safe,” said Niki Balbier, a Baltimore County parent.

Balbier has a son in the Baltimore County school system.

On Monday, the district announced nearly two dozen will temporarily shift to virtual learning this week, while partially closing several others.

She said her son's school was not one of them.

“We’re keeping him home right now,” she said. “We’re not sending him back to school at this point until numbers start going down.”

Balbier said she’s not happy with the district’s decision and believes in-person learning should be delayed temporarily at all schools in the county.

“I know it’s a really difficult situation for everybody to be in, but to me it doesn’t make sense right now to have everything open back up with the number increasing at the rate they are every day,” Balbier said.

Cindy Sexton, who is the president of the Teachers Association in Baltimore, agrees with Balbier on postponing in-person learning.

“I still would prefer in person instruction, however, with everything that is going on, I think a conversation should be had about a short, a very short stint of virtual education, maybe two weeks.”

She said teachers are also concerned about their safety.

“The concern is probably almost as high as it was at the beginning of last school year when we did end up going virtual the whole time. People are very concerned about this,” Sexton said.

Sexton said teachers are split on the issue of keeping schools open, calling it a tough decision for everyone involved.