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Parents react to state guidelines for reopening K-12 schools

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Instead of worrying about checking everything off their back-to-school shopping list, parents have a much bigger task to tackle this year.

"I think if it’s that bad that our children have to wear masks in school then we should not be returning to school," says Harlem School District Parent Dorene Arment.

Arment has two kids in Harlem's school district and works as a home health aid. She says wearing a mask seven hours a day isn't her favorite thing.

"Especially with the extreme heat," says Arment. "The breathing is horrible, it’s hot, it’s moist."

Which is why she has concerns about children being able to get much out of their days. Not only being distracted by their mask but the other restrictions as well.

"They can’t even approach friends because you have to social distance," says Arment. "How do you tell a child they can’t be beside their friends? How do you tell a child they can’t go on the playground because they can’t be around other people, they don’t understand that."

In addition, Arment is worried about students going back too soon and districts being forced to return to e-learning. She believes it would just confuse and worry kids more. For these reasons she's looking into homeschooling her children, potentially with the help a former instructor of her son.

A thought process that's shared by Laury Bailey, who's been discussing a co-opt version of homeschooling with other parents.

"We all have our strengths and weaknesses and mine just happens to be in literature, math, and reading," says Bailey. "If I had to do anything with math I would be lost. So I talked to a few other parents and they're like yeah, I'll do math and I can do the field trips," she adds with a laugh.

Bailey says her twin 12-year-old grandsons shared anxiety over having to return to class wearing a mask. She's hopeful there may be an option for e-learning to continue so her grandsons don't have to give up the extracurriculars they love.

"If they do something like that, we could stay home and do that," says Bailey. "Because my boys also want to be involved with the sport programs at school."

13 News reached out to various school districts in our area who share they are working diligently to come up with the specifics of what the district specific plans will look like. 13 News will continue to update viewers with that information once it's made available.

Mary Sugden

Mary Sugden is the Investigative Reporter at WREX. She joined the team in December 2014 as the evening producer. In 2015 she made the move to evening reporter before joining the 13 Investigates team in May of 2018.

She grew up in Woodstock, Illinois and graduated from Woodstock High School in 2009. Mary graduated with a degree in Journalism and Marketing from Loyola University Chicago in 2013.

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