MOORE, Okla. (KFOR) – With the start of school just a week away, an open letter objecting to Moore’s ‘Return to Learn’ plan is circulating throughout the community and collecting signatures in support along the way.
The letter was penned by members of Oklahoma Educators United, and by Thursday afternoon was signed by more than 1,500 stakeholders, including teachers, staff, parents and other community members.
It urges the district to delay the start of school and impose stronger guidelines to protect students and teachers.
“I still have friends that are going to school from either their parents’ choice or they just want to do that, and I don’t want people to get sick and keep this going,” said incoming junior Austin Harrison.
The demands include a mask mandate, giving teachers and staff the option to work 100 percent remotely, and opening later to allow more time for planning.
“We have teachers here in our Southmoore schools that are diabetic, who have recovered from cancer and don’t need the exposure from anybody,” said parent Lesley Bonebreak. “Their plans kind of go out the window with Moore Public Schools doing this.”
But others said that while it would be good to give teachers more time to prepare, the district did its best to address parents’ initial concerns.
“We have a lot of parents in our district that both parents have to work, there’s just not a choice, and then there’s parents who don’t want to send their kids back to school and they have that option now,” said parent Brittany Maine.
A spokesperson from Moore Public Schools said no one was available for an interview, but sent a statement from Superintendent Dr. Robert Romines saying the following:
“MPS Administration is aware of the letter and concerns. Please know, we take the input from our educational community very serious. The input we receive – whether it is concerns about our Return to Learn plan or appreciation of our three learning options and health protocols – are valued and helpful as we continuously review and update our plan, as needed.Dr. Robert Romines, Superintendent of Moore Public Schools
Without a doubt, this is a tough time for everyone. Many have had to make difficult decisions to best meet the needs of their family due to our ever-evolving health climate.
We hope that all members of our learning community will show grace toward one another as we continue to face these challenges. Though not everyone agrees on what the best path may be moving forward, the health and safety of our students, staff, and families are priority and we will continue to make every effort to safeguard each of them.”
Those calling for the district to make changes said they plan to protest at the Moore Board of Education meeting Monday at 1500 SE 4th St., Rm 113.
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