Some TPS Parents Sign Petition Pushing For Return To In-Person Classes

Wednesday, September 16th 2020, 9:18 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

TULSA, Okla. -

Some TPS parents are signing a petition to get their kids back to the classroom, two weeks into the district's planned first nine weeks of distance learning.

Chelsea Shoemake is a working mom and said teaching her kids is exhausting at home. She said she would like for parents to have a choice if they want to send their kids back school.

Chelsea Shoemake is a working mom of six kids, three of them enrolled in Tulsa Public Schools.

"They're basically on a computer all day. I'm a full-time employee. I work all day my husband works all day," said Shoemake.

Tulsa Public Schools board members voted to start the first nine weeks of school as distance learning, and then re-evaluate.

It's been about two weeks since distance learning started, two exhausting weeks, Shoemake said.

"I understand a lot of parents don't want their kids back in school, but I feel like we should have a choice at least,” Shoemake said.

Shoemake signed a Change.Org petition urging Tulsa Public Schools to re-open for in person learning.

The petition said, "We live in the United States of America. We have the right to CHOOSE what is best for our children, their education & their future. And we CHOOSE to take daily precautions and send our children to SCHOOL."

"I feel like we should get another option," Shoemake said.

Shoemake said she saw petitions in other Green Country school districts which is one reason she signed this one. 

Tulsa Public Schools sent News On 6 this statement:

We want our students back in their classrooms with their teachers and peers as soon as possible. We also have a responsibility to our team, students, families, and our city to do all that we can to help reduce community spread. We would make the decision about in-person learning based on data and in close collaboration with local health professionals. After promising declines in our local numbers, we have recently seen increases in COVID-19 cases, particularly among young people. The best way to help get our children back into classrooms is for Tulsans to wear their masks, wash their hands often, and practice safe distancing.

"I do I believe they're doing the best, yes I do," Shoemake said. "It's a learning experience for everybody."

TPS said after the first nine weeks of distance learning it will then look at the COVID-19 numbers and reevaluate.

The district said downward COVID-19 trends will determine when to get back to in-person learning.