Education being affected by Omicron variant for Laurel School District

Schools in the Pine Belt are being affected by the new strand of COVID-19.
Laurel School District announced that their middle school and high school will revert to a full-time virtual schedule for the next few weeks.
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 5:57 PM CST
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - The Laurel School District has announced that their middle school and high school will revert to a full-time virtual schedule for the next few weeks.

This is just one example of how the Omicron variant is affecting schools in the Pine Belt.

Betsy Ivey says she’s worried about the students even though all of her children are grown up.

“I do have friends who have... school-aged children and grandchildren, and they’re constantly commenting about how behind they are, that they’ve just not been able… The virtual learning just hasn’t really kept up with in-classroom learning,” says Ivey.

But, some parents were so afraid of the classroom, they removed their kids from it.

“Last year, I homeschooled my grandson, but then the virus wasn’t that bad this year. So we decided to let him go to school,” says a concerned grandparent.

However, this grandmother says she has been regretting that decision ever since the Jones County School District lifted their mandate.

“With the new virus out and it’s spreading quickly and most schools have lifted a mask mandate… which I think should be put back in place. Because then you got other kids, and the teachers I think can give it to the kids. And that’s the concern,” says the grandmother.

Ivey says she’s concerned about the virus too, but she’s also concerned about children who are better protected on school grounds.

“Statistics have shown that children are really safer in the classrooms from a nutrition standpoint, as well as having teachers keeping an eye out on their safety and well-being,” says Ivey.

Both Laurel Middle School and Laurel High School will stay virtual until Jan. 21. The elementary school will continue with traditional learning.

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