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Davis School District parents explain decisions to pull kids out of school this week

Posted at 10:08 PM, Nov 10, 2020

FARMINGTON, Utah — Some Davis School District parents decided to keep their children home from school this week after Governor Herbert's emergency announcement about COVID-19 on Sunday.

They explain it's what they felt was missing in the announcement, that led to the decision.

When the Davis School District switched to the four-day, in-person schedule for elementary schools back in September, Bacall Hincks said her family decided to go with it.

"With the hope that we're not going to have to then suddenly pull our children out, because of high incidents of cases," she said at the time, during a September 24 interview with Fox 13.

Fast forward to last Sunday, when Governor Gary Herbert announced a new state of emergency, and statewide restrictions. He also suspended most after-school activities.

"That was kind of the finalizing decision to say, 'Okay, no tomorrow. We'll just keep them home from school,'" Hincks said, of her reaction.

She ended up doing what she had hoped in September she'd be able to avoid.

"Our school helped us go back, our principal helped us feel safe enough to go back," she said. "But the more we saw our community reactions is why we're like, 'No. We cannot continue to do this.'"

Dave Gillespie's high school son made the same decision Sunday.

"We're like, 'Okay, we're home I guess,'" he said, of their reaction to the announcement. "Even though it's really the worst option that he could have."

Gillespie explained that his son Jared, a junior at Bountiful High School, was worried about potentially contracting COVID-19 and passing it on to Gillespie.

Gillespie described how he's a paraplegic with a compromised immune system because of his spinal cord injury.

As cases rise, and with schools at full capacity, they felt it was time for Jared to stay home.

He indicated that he and his son were especially disappointed at what they felt Governor Herbert missed addressing in his order.

"We were hoping that the Governor would say that schools were going to be restricted in some way," he said.

Gillespie talked about how Jared wanted to go back to a hybrid schedule with half the kids at school, where they could social distance and keep hallway crowds to a minimum.

By going online, he said Jared has had to drop one of his Concurrent Enrollment classes not offered virtually-- losing his ability to also get college credit for the course. There are other classes that he said Jared would not be able to continue online as well.

Bacall echoed Gillespie's concerns about the Governor's order not including changes to the school schedule.

She said she feels they need a complete "circuit breaker."

"I wish that maybe we just would do like a reset, and close everything down for a week or two," she said.

Luckily for her two elementary school kids, Bacall said their school has been great with lessons online.

So now the kids will learn from home, for who knows how long.

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