Sep 27 2021
08:58 am

Knox County Schools are pulling their hair out. What to do? What to do?

As said by a student to WBIR, "I'm just not sure what the point of canceling school is. It seems like a pretty simple ask, that the judges telling us to enforce a mass policy. And we already did it last year. So I don't see a problem with doing it again," [L&N STEM Academy Junior, Ethan] Lindsey said."

From Sandra Clark, KnoxTNToday, "One thing I know. Factions must not use children in a political tug-of-war. We’re all tired of the coronavirus and the disruptions it has caused. But people are sick and some have died. Hospitals are full and health care workers are stressed beyond belief.

Let’s pull together to get through this. We can argue about politics later."

Can Knox County Schools and government act calmly and responsibly? Not sure. It seems they are getting pulled into the minority far right, 30%ers, hair on fire faction.

Mike Cohen's picture

Masks and schools

In practicality, it is not that simple. Bus drivers asked for help enforcing or they wouldn't run.

If a student refuses, what do teachers and administrators do? It is is, say, 20% of all students, if they all get sent to the office it is madness. There isn't staff to make all those calls.

I wear a mask lots of places. And don't mind a bit. But I see where the schools need a day to get the infrastructure in place.

I wish it was as simple as it should be: issue a mask mandate and virtually everyone complies. It isn't and that is what makes it hard. Schools aren't equipped or staffed for it.

bizgrrl's picture

They haven't been formulating

They haven't been formulating a plan before this weekend? Is the student no correct about them having done it before? They haven't kept in communication with their partners, e.g. bus companies/drivers?

Factchecker's picture

Aren't Knoxville school buses

Aren't Knoxville school buses a patchwork of patronage "companies" in a GOB?

Besides that, does anyone believe one day to learn new policies would fix this? Maybe just provide the maskless kids masks and tell them they'll be sent home or refused bus transportation if they don't wear them. Schools are where kids are told what to do. I know nothing's so simple anymore, but Republicans really own this entire problem.

Mike Daugherty's picture

From what I hear/read my

From what I have heard and read my understanding is that the school system central office became aware by social media and other sources that hundreds of anti-vax and anti-mask folks planned to protest at bus stops and schools and confront teachers and students today. The school central office needed time to prepare. I suppose better safe than sorry. Students and staff could be in harms way by wearing masks and trying to keep children safe. After the deaths and injuries caused by crazy right wing nut cases on Jan.6 nothing from these selfish antipariotic losers surprises me. Most of the right wing politicians that are stirring up these folks have had a vaccine and wear a mask.

bizgrrl's picture

How are they preparing for

How are they preparing for tomorrow?

Mike Daugherty's picture

When i found out school was

When i found out school was being canceled today, I could not understand the logic for calling school off.I thought back to last year when masking worked well. It does seem the anti mask crowd has been fired up by Jacobs and other
irresponsible leaders and are more vocal and belligerent than last year. I am talking to folks and trying to understand the reasoning of closing for today. Maybe they did feel the need for a stronger presence by school police officers and school staff. Being short handed with all the absences they might have felt they did not want any student or teacher harmed by a misguided protester and needed a day to make sure students and teachers were going to be as safe as possible. If there were violent incidences today and somebody hurt then Central office would be blamed for not being prepared. I am just giving my thoughts but I would like to hear and explanation from school officials.

Mike Cohen's picture


Fair point...but they had no idea a judge would issue that order, frame it the way he did (none of the previous exceptions) or that there would be word of formal protests and refusals. Or that bus drivers would demand help.

I think a planning day was a reasonable and smart decision.

bizgrrl's picture

A planning day must have

A planning day must have worked. No real problems reported throughout the district.

Mike Daugherty's picture

Thank you Sandra Clark for

Thank you Sandra Clark for the thoughtful and sensible comments you have made on the response to covid. There should not be a Republican or Democratic response to covid. There is only one right response and you have expressed it.

bizgrrl's picture

Approx. 1% of students were

Approx. 1% of students were non-compliant, "207 elementary students, 235 middle schoolers and 280 high school students."

Wonder how many families?

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