Aiken parents express concerns as kids prepare for new school year

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AIKEN, SC (WJBF)- The Aiken County YMCA hosted its 11th annual fit for school event. This year was a little different because of Covid.

We had the opportunity to ask some parents how they felt about kids going back to school with Covid cases still on the rise. Many of them say they’re taking extra precautions to make sure their kids are safe.

“Even though we’re limited in what we can do, for the last two years, it is still becoming one of the best events in this community,” said Everett Chandler, Attorney.

Everett Chandler is the sole attorney at Chandler’s Law Firm. His office has sponsored the Fit 4 school event for 11 years now.

“I was a student in Aiken County Public schools and benefited from the Wagner – Sally community for a tremendous number of teachers and educators and mentors who poured into my life. So, it’s only our duty I’ve benefited from it,” said Chandler.

This year instead of hosting the event in the gym, families were able to stay in their cars and were given school supplies as well as boxed lunches. Kids were also offered free haircuts. It was a fun-filled day for most kids, but some parents had other things on their minds.

“I’m actually really nervous about my child going back to school,” said Maria Wiggins, Lives in Aiken.

Maria Wiggins says the school leaders have had to push back the start date once before.

Wiggins isn’t the only parent questioning how this school year will go.

” I don’t think kids should be going back to school yet, but I think if they keep the schools clean then I think everything will be okay. They need to get their facts in place before they let them start. If they gone let them start or not,” said Donna Scott, Lives in Aiken.

Donna Scott believes that schools aren’t prepared.

“If this virus is as bad as they say it is, they should have a plan, instead of these kids going back there and have to be pulled back out of school,” said Scott.

“My kids know to wear their masks and use their sanitizer they keep sanitizer on them at all times, so yes they’re very protected,” said Wiggins.

But schools do have protocols in place. Superintendent King Laurence issued this statement to parents saying most of the mitigation strategies in place last year will still be in effect this year.

That includes limiting the number of volunteers and visitors. He also says schools will be disinfected and cleaned regularly and specialized air filters will be installed in all classrooms and other spaces.

Some parents are taking extra precautions for their children.

“My kids know to wear their masks and use their sanitizer they keep sanitizer on them at all times, so yes they’re very protected,” said Wiggins.

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