KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – Some Knox County parents planned to keep their children out of school on Monday to up the pressure on the school system to change the COVID-19 safety precautions, according to multiple Facebook groups.
“In support of our children, teachers, and community – we the parents of KCS children will keep our kids home on Monday, August 30.” said a social media from group, Knox County Schools Sick Out for COVID-19 Safety.
The post said they encouraged everyone to express their voice to board members and the KCS central office regarding implementation of CDC and AAP provisions for school safety.
These included mandatory mask policy, advanced cleaning, social distancing where possible, provisions for students and teachers who must stay home due to illness or exposure and transparent contact tracing and reporting at the school level.
In addition to keeping their children out of school, parents planned to demonstrate at morning drop-off zones. They were instructed to bring signs that put focus on COVID-19 safety and the “downtown” leaders: Superintendent, Board of Education, county mayor.
Parents said that they hoped today would teach their children about the use of peaceful protests, according to a post in ‘Stop the Spread Knoxville’.
“Please remember: we encourage you to NOT call you local school office to report the outage (a note tomorrow is fine). But do please contact BoE and central offices and governors office,” a social media post read. “We hope today is a powerful learning day for your children, that they have a chance to participate in and learn about historical use of peaceful protests. It is never too soon to participate in peaceful activism.”
On Friday, the school system reported over 8600 students absent.
“Thank you everyone who has expressed support and willingness to participate in this sick-out,” an organizer posted. “KCS is reporting over 8600 students out as of yesterday. This sick out will add fuel to that fire, showing the consequences of the negligence KCS has shown toward our children, teacher, and community safety. Keep spreading the word!”
According to the Knox County COVID-19 dashboard, the school system has 807 active student cases and 98 active staff cases.
The Knox County Board of Education will hold a called meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021 starting at 4:30 p.m. in the boardroom on the first floor of the Andrew Johnson Building, 912 S. Gay Street.
Copyright 2021 WVLT. All rights reserved.