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Parents weigh risks of sending kids back to school in fall

Some parents we spoke to are balancing the risks with their family's health.
A student does schoolwork at home on a laptop computer (WBAY photo)
A student does schoolwork at home on a laptop computer (WBAY photo)(WBAY)
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 10:35 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Many parents are weighing the risks and benefits of sending their children back to school in-person this fall.

For Jen Geisler, it’s a matter of balancing her sons’ mental and physical health.

“Our oldest son had a real big health scare about four years ago and he almost died then in the hospital,” said Geisler.

Her son Tristan, who will be a senior at Bay Port High School, suffered from a brain infection and gets seizures if he gets a cold or the flu.

It’s put him at a higher risk if he were to get the coronavirus. and has made it difficult for her to decide if she will send her youngest son, Nate, back to school this fall; worried he could get unknowingly bring home the virus.

“He is a social butterfly, he likes sports, he wants to join football and this is his freshman year. So, this is a big transition for him and he’s been looking forward to it,” said Geisler.

Geisler says Tristan will do virtual learning from home, but her son Nate struggled with online learning when schools closed in the spring.

“[He was] saying he was getting his work done, but he really wasn’t…he was just kind of avoiding the whole situation. That’s another concern we have too because, we don’t want to go through that,” said Geisler. “He was an A-B student before. We don’t want him to get in a…funk so to say, and end up getting poor grades.”

Meanwhile, Cyrissa Curtis is also in transition from elementary to middle school, but will be staying home at least for the fall semester.

“I miss it, but I know that staying at home is definitely the safer option,” said Cyrissa.

“My biggest dilemma right now is, will I be having her participate in the Howard-Suamico School District virtual classes or going to a third party,” said Lori Curtis, Cyrissa’s mother.

Lori applauds the school districts for the work they’re doing to keep everyone safe, but hopes the focus will be on virtual learning.

“We just have to get a mindset of it’s probably going to be virtual, even if it doesn’t start that way. So, maybe we should just focus on how we can make that really successful,” said Lori.

For Geisler, the solution is not that simple.

“We’re kind of torn between two worlds in a way because, we want to protect our oldest son, but we also want to protect our youngest son and they both have different needs. How does that look in our family, we’re not sure,” said Geisler.

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