CLAY COUNTY – The school district is wrestling with non-sanctioned events and the relationship between what students and staff do off-campus and how it can be transmitted on …
CLAY COUNTY – The school district is wrestling with non-sanctioned events and the relationship between what students and staff do off-campus and how it can be transmitted on campus.
Superintendent David Broskie sent out a letter to parents last week discouraging large off-campus events. The letter might have seemed unusual to parents unaware, but based on Broskie’s letter, it seems some parents in the district have made plans to host, “large off campus events that do not follow guidelines established to promote safe gatherings per local and state health officials.”
“Please know that the school district is not sponsoring or condoning such events,” Broskie said in the letter. “These events could lead to extensive transmission of COVID-19 and could have serious impact on many individuals at the schools and in homes.”
Broskie said it’s important that the strategies used to keep students, staff and teachers safe are similar to the ones used out in the community to ensure that Clay County can keep its schools open.
During the Oct. 27 school board agenda workshop meeting, school board member Tina Bullock addressed the letter and said the district needs to be careful about overreaching.
“It would not be any different than a parent throwing a birthday party or any other kind of event a student would go to,” Bullock said. “I think we have to be a little careful of that….[because] at some point in time, it becomes the parent’s responsibility. We want to protect our district, but...I’m concerned about the district starting to overreach.”
Bullock pointed out that students were going to trick-or-treat on Halloween and the school district can’t do anything to prevent that and the potential COVID-19-related dangers that might arise while gathering candy from neighborhood houses.
Broskie agreed with Bullock and said the main point of the letter wasn’t necessarily to say, “don’t do that,” but to let all parents know that said events are not sanctioned or sponsored by the district.
“Of course, the district does respect the right of parents and all citizens of their own personal liberties and what they do outside of school, but let’s remember we’re all a team and what we do off school grounds could have an impact on school grounds,” Broskie said. “Events that could lead to further transmission in schools...we should avoid those events.”
“That’s the recommendation of the health department and health officials and I think we’d be remiss if we didn’t remind people of that. I’m well aware that our jurisdiction ends at the end of school grounds, but at the same time, informing people is always a responsibility of the school district.”
While no large off-campus event was noted, Broskie told parents to simply be aware of the dangers than can arise from such gatherings.