As East Texas students go back to school, parents share views on COVID guidelines

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – As East Texas students head back to school this week, COVID-19 cases are spiking after the holiday season. 

While some parents are concerned, others say the pandemic has sparked different concerns for them. 

Districts like Lufkin ISD are requiring masks this week amid the new rise in cases, but other schools are choosing to wait it out before changing any COVID-19 guidelines. 

Abbey Clark, a Tyler mother of two, is concerned about the spike.  

“Just explaining it to my five-year-old, you know I just try to tell her look, there’s a virus that’s out there that’s making everyone sick,” said Clark. 

Clark’s five and seven-year-olds are vaccinated and sent to school with masks on, but her fears with the fast spreading omicron are still there.   

She said with masks being optional at their TISD school, it’s harder for teachers to keep track of which parents want their kids to wear one and which ones don’t. 

“My kids have come out of the school without a mask so I know they’re not adhering to it,” added Clark. 

For Chapel Hill mother and grandmother Arlene Smith, her pandemic worries are different than Clark’s. 

“The division in this country is the worst thing that I fear for my kids because people are very adamant one way or the other,” said Smith. 

One thing they can both agree on though, is the importance of sanitizing in class and beyond. 

“I hope that the schools are teaching handwashing and basic sanitation to our kids,” added Smith. 

Both said they are hoping for a day their children can live in a pandemic-free world. 

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