NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Thousands of Tennessee students are at home quarantining because of COVID-19 exposures.
Students in Lebanon are out for the rest of the week, according to the Lebanon Special School District. A statement from the district said the closing is due to the inability to staff classrooms and the increase in student absences because of COVID-19.
But it’s not a situation unique to the Lebanon School District. Across Tennessee, parents are again having to adjust to their child being back at home, days after being sent back to school to quarantine because of COVID-19.
“We have three kids at home, two of them are in school. One of them got sent home for four days. Our oldest son just got quarantined with negative results,” Jason Skinner, a Lebanon pastor said.
“I want everybody to come together, the education for the kids, besides the Lord Jesus Christ, is the next most important thing for a young child and growing up in this COVID season, I don’t want them to miss [anything].”
The Lebanon School District does not have a mask mandate, adding it closed its doors because “the immediate need for separation has become apparent.“
According to the Tennessee Department of Health, over the last 14 days, 20,494 school-aged children have tested positive for COVID-19.
In Rutherford County over 500 students tested positive and over 1,600 students are in isolation. Davidson County Schools have quarantined more than 3,000 students and staff. Hamilton County schools have more than 2,700 students in isolation with 321 active COVID-19 cases there. Sevier County Schools have reported 93 active COVID-19 cases with 385 students and staff in quarantine.
Parents, like Skinner, say kids belong in schools and having healthy students at home makes things more difficult.
“Why [are] there not things in place to make sure that you know — hey look this group auditorium, this is where they’re going to be — these are the teachers that are going to come in that’s already vaccinated— even if it’s just 4 hours that could be hours that we could be working,” Skinner said.
Virtual and remote learning is no longer an option for school districts in Tennessee. Some including the Lebanon Special School District are using inclement weather days to fill the lost days.
Children represent 16.5% of total cases so far in Tennessee.