After passionate pleas from parents and one of the board members, the Smyth County School Board voted 5-2 Monday night to send students back to the classroom Oct. 1.
The board approved a motion from Mac Buchanan and seconded by Paul Grinstead to go with the Smyth READY Return to Learning hybrid plan established in July and postponed in August in favor of an all virtual start due to spiking cases.
Board members Todd Williams and Kyle Rhodes opposed the move citing safety concerns for students and staff amid continuing COVID cases in the county. Williams was the lone opponent to the hybrid start proposed this summer and again stressed safety concerns.
Rhodes said he would hate to be responsible for someone losing a loved one and believes the school system should "stay the course."
Superintendent Dennis Carter said parents who do not wish to send their children back to the classroom yet can continue with the online learning currently established by their children's teachers.
Read more in Wednesday's edition of the News & Messenger.
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