As a parent of two teenage daughters in the Aiken County Public Schools, I wish to include some information that your Sunday editorial failed to mention.
1. The 39-member local back to school task force included zero independent parents who were not affiliated with the school district. It also did not include any board members elected by the people of Aiken County.
2. Aiken County parents were surveyed by the district and over 50% preferred a return to five-day in-person classroom instruction with proper precautions.
3. Aiken County has one of the very lowest incidents of COVID-19 in the state.
4. There is money available from state and federal sources for districts to prepare to return to school this fall.
5. Both the American and S.C. Society of Pediatricians have recommended a full time return to school as best for the overall well-being of children.
6. In living life, there is risk of getting sick or injured anytime and parents understand that risk. Many believe it best to return to five-day classroom instruction while supporting full virtual learning for anyone who thinks it best.
7. Many parents who have broadband internet, childcare and can monitor learning at home will choose the full virtual option. This will allow our schools to operate at less than full capacity.
The Aiken County School Board should to listen to the majority of parents in the community and at least allow an option for a return to five-day classroom instruction this fall.
John W. Pettigrew, Jr.