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NAACP president, LCS students plea for state to rescind school reopen order

Posted at 6:43 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 18:43:23-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Protesters are still hoping to keep kids out of brick and mortar schools amid the pandemic while school administrators are keeping their eyes on the Gulf as they prepare for the first week of school.

The push for digital learning remains a strong message for educators, urging the state to rescind the order to re-open brick and mortar schools.

For many, it's personal. Maddelena Kaji lost two family members to COVID-19.

As she prepares to enter her senior year at Leon High School, she's worried about friends and family members potentially risking their health in the hallways.

"I just can't even begin to imagine the fright, the nervousness, the paranoia that they're going to have to go through every day," said Kaji.

Kaji was among several advocates at the Florida Department of Education on Friday demanding schools stay closed until it's safe for everyone.

The president of the Tallahassee Chapter of the NAACP, Adner Marcelin, reflected on recent deaths in the Leon County School system.

"Jordan Byrd, who lost his life through this terrible disease, and his mother," Marcelin said. "Both employees of Leon County Schools."

To help students transition safely back to school on Aug. 31, Leon County Schools will begin operating a call center starting next Wednesday to answer questions from parents about the possibility of schools closing not just due to the coronavirus, but also due to potential storm developments.

"If, in fact, we were in a hurricane watch or warning 24 to 48 hours before Monday, when school starts that could be an issue," said John Hunkiar, the chief of Safety and Security for Leon County Schools. "We don't foresee that right now but we are watching the storm closely that is out there."

Leon County postponed the school re-opening until Aug. 31, the last day possible according to the emergency order.

Their reopening plans, along with any weather-related updates, are available on their social media pages. If you have any questions, their call center is currently scheduled to open Wednesday, August 26 at 2 p.m.

The district plans to make the call-center number available at the start of next week.