Some Mississippi teachers are urging the governor not to reopen schools in August because of the continuing rise in COVID-19 cases statewide.
About a hundred teachers, parents and students rallied outside the capitol chanting "not now." They’re concerned, the governor and the Mississippi Department of Education are planning to reopen schools in August despite the ongoing increase in COVID-19 cases.
Pat Chambers is a librarian at an elementary school in Jackson.
"I notice in the JPS plan though that we're going to be hand washing more often. Oh, that's awesome," she said with a sarcastic smile.
"Guess what you need to wash your hands? You need water. You need soap. And, you need paper towels. We usually have running water. We never have soap and rarely have paper towels," said Chambers.
Friday, a grassroots group called Mississippi Teachers Unite demanded state leaders postpone reopening schools until Sept. 1. They think school districts need more time to meet the CDC safety guidelines.
Yolanda Jackson, a concerned parent, drove down from Rosedale. She cried talking about her daughter who has a pre-existing condition.
" I have a daughter that has asthma too," said Jackson. "I care about my children and I don't want to see nobody's children hurt. I don't want to see the teachers hurt. But I want my kids to get an education."
In tears she continues, "They need to be forward their education. But if this is going to destroy it then I ask that they do what they need to do. If y'all say September 1... September 1 is when they need to open the schools back up. It don't need to be right now. And if it can't be September 1? Guess what! It needs to open up when this virus is gone."
School superintendents statewide must submit their reopening plans by the end of this month. Governor Reeves met with the State Superintendent Carey Wright and says they are committed to getting students back into the classroom this August.