Parent speaks out as Bakersfield City School District suspends in-person learning

Bakersfield City School District back to distance education again in light of an increase in COVID-19 cases. Tori Cooper of 23ABC spoke to a parent at BCSD about the decision.

Kat Clowes is a parent of a downtown elementary school student in the Bakersfield City School District and says that while the suspension of in-person learning may disappoint students and staff, she believes any measure to protect students is necessary.

Clowes said the BCSD emailed him at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning indicating that the district was suspending all in-person education and support services due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in County of Kern and that he will remain in place until further notice.

“We received an email from BCSD announcing the shutdown,” Clowes said. I think anything we can do to support children in the safest way possible is the right choice.

BCSD declined an interview with 23ABC when we reached out.

Earlier this week, Kern County Public Health announced that more than 900 COVID-19 tests had come back positive. Across California, there has been an increase in reported COVID-19 cases.

Michelle Corson, of Kern County Public Health, said the health department believed the increase in local cases was due to a combination of impacts, such as more testing of residents, and an increase in rallies indoors now that the temperatures have dropped. Corson says gatherings are one of the main sources of transmission identified.

While parents like Clowes support the movement for safety reasons, the Bakersfield Elementary Teachers Association, which represents more than 1,700 educators in Bakersfield, has been outspoken on Twitter about BCSD’s relationship with COVID-19.

Some tweets contained statements such as:

While Clowes is in favor of the move, she agrees that pressure was placed on her daughter’s teacher to keep students in the classroom and at home to stay engaged and safe.
“Seeing our daughter’s teacher and seeing how hard she works with all the extra programs she’s put together and connecting with everyone is beyond what teachers are supposed to do on a daily basis. “

23ABC also contacted the Bakersfield Elementary Teachers Association for comment, but they didn’t return in time to get some fresh air.

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