PLANO, Texas - Some parents are worried about sending their children back to school as the delta COVID-19 variant spreads.
About a dozen parents went before the Plano Independent School District’s board Tuesday night to ask for stricter COVID-19 protocols.
"The reality here is we know we can take reasonable steps to improve the safety and the health of our environment. Why are we not doing that?" one parent asked.
Some asked for last year’s mitigation strategies to be put into place again this year as the number of cases rises, especially in younger children.
"You as leaders – our principals and our teachers as leaders – need to show mask wearing as a normalcy. I would like to be able to put the Plexiglass back. We own it. We paid for it. We should use it," a parent told school board members.
"Need to make it a culture of mask wearing since that is what the CDC has put out. Need to make it a culture of social distancing," another parent said.
The district said its hands are tied with Gov. Greg Abbott banning mask mandates and the state failing to provide funding for virtual learning.
New guidelines approved by the district do not include contact tracing or a quarantine period for close contacts of COVID-19 positive cases. That will be handled by the public health department.
Many parents are concerned about students under 12 who are too young to be vaccinated.
That’s one reason Frisco ISD made a last-minute change and decided to offer a virtual learning option to students under 12.
"We started seeing the increased disease activity and that it was affecting kids a little bit differently way than the original strain of the virus," said Frisco ISD Superintendent Mike Waldrip.
The district is funding the program itself and plans to end it when vaccines become widely available to younger children.