Nashville parents whose kids have been learning virtually from home since last spring are pushing for schools to reopen and criticizing school board chair Christiane Buggs for traveling internationally amid the pandemic. 

A group of parents formed the group “Let Nashville Choose” last year to advocate for reopening schools for in-person learning, saying that they are “troubled and perplexed by the seeming contradiction that we see all around us.”

“Why has the Chair of the MNPS Board of Education, an individual who has excoriated the public to follow public health rules, and who has said it’s not worth any risk to open schools, felt safe enough to host events at bars, patronize businesses that violate the county mask mandate, and travel internationally?  Surely, if it is safe enough to do these things, it is safe enough to open schools,” a spokesperson for Let Nashville Parents Choose told Fox News Thursday. 

BIDEN PLAN TO REOPEN SCHOOLS SUBJECT TO POTENTIAL CHANGES IN CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, OFFICIAL SAYS

Buggs, who is chairwoman of the school board and represents district 5 took a trip to the Caribbean last fall.  Buggs says she she empathizes “with the frustrations of parents over this pandemic and the resulting impact on their children,” but called the accusations of hypocrisy for traveling a “distraction.”

“Taking personal events in my life that occurred nearly three months ago when our youngest learners were already back in classrooms is an unfortunate distraction from the issues and challenges we face today,” Buggs told Fox News Thursday. 

“Though I appreciate being held accountable for my actions, I followed safety protocols to the greatest extent possible – including taking multiple COVID tests before and after events and consistently wearing my mask – and my activities were well within the guidelines adopted by the city,” she continued. 

The school board has also stood by Buggs, saying that she “has been advocating for the best interests of students and staff to keep them safe and learning throughout this pandemic.”

“She has been a strong advocate for meeting the academic and social-emotional needs of students, whether in-person or virtually, and our teachers are working hard every day to provide a quality instruction to the children we serve,” Sean Braisted, a spokesperson for Metro Nashville Public Schools told Fox news. 

SOME SCHOOLS DIDN’T SHOW INAUGURATION IN CLASSROOMS OVER CONCERNS OF POTENTIAL VIOLENCE

Elementary school students temporarily returned to school for in-person classes in the fall, but middle and high school students have been at home since the pandemic first broke out last spring. 

Parents in Nashville have lamented the setbacks their kids have experienced due to nearly a year of virtual learning. 

Jennifer Claxton, who has two kids in Nashville public schools, formed a pod with two other families for their children to virtually learn together, but said the “boys are constantly getting caught with a YouTube tab open watching their favorite gamer or sports person when they should be listening to class,” while the “girls are social, highly distracted and have a difficult time sitting behind a computer for so many hours per day, months on end.”

“The actions of our School Board Chair are hypocritical, inexcusable and offer no hope to the over 55% of parents in our district that elected ‘in person’ for our district,” Claxton said Wednesday. 

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The Metro Nashville school board says they think schools may be able to reopen soon, but the timeline is uncertain. 

 

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