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DeSoto County Schools parents call for live instruction during virtual classes

A group of DCS parents spoke at a school board meeting Thursday concerned about the quality of online classes

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss — Parents fed-up with virtual learning took their concerns to the DeSoto County Schools board Thursday night. 

They chose it for their kids feeling it would be safer in this pandemic than learning in a classroom. But what they did not expect is there'd be no live interaction with teachers as is the case with most school districts teaching virtually. 

Parents of DeSoto County School students who are learning from behind a screen said the district needs to make serious improvements and soon or it will put their child's education in danger. 

“The first week was not, it just wasn’t good,“ said seventh grader Zakiya Tyson.  

Tyson attends Olive Branch Middle School. Her mother said she was doing her studies until nearly midnight at first but even after she got situated, the learning just wasn't the same..   

“The biggest thing for us is there’s no live interaction with the teachers,” said Nicole Tyson.

Tyson says her children’s instruction comes in the form of PDFs or pre-recorded videos by the teacher.

“Those recordings create questions and then there’s nobody there to answer those questions. So if that live instruction was there and the teacher was teaching then that interaction would be there for them to say “I have a question.”  

Tyson tells me she’s had a conference with each of her 7th graders teachers at the start of the school year – but it’s not enough.   

“For the most part if I reach out to the teacher they respond back, but you responding back to me does not help her,” she said.

Tyson was one of at least 6 parents who spoke to the DeSoto County Schools board Thursday voicing their concerns over virtual learning, some said there was a lack of planning and others felt like administrators are ignoring their concerns. Tyson said how the schools react now could affect them for the rest of their lives. 

“If this pandemic continues and all these kids have to come back home the platform that we’re on now it’s not going to be what’s needed for them to be successful.” 

Superintendent Cory Uselton was not immediately available after Thursday's meeting when Local 24 asked for a comment.

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