BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and President Donald Trump want schools to open full-time this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While some local parents said they’re in favor of a return to in-person classes, the Maryland State Education Association and others aren’t sure if it’s safe to go back just yet.

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Maryland State Education Association President Cheryl Bost criticized President Trump and DeVos’ calls to fully return students to class this fall.


“We really feel that what the President of the United States and Secretary DeVos shared the other day is a lot of rhetoric and it’s really irresponsible to say we’re just going to blankly open schools,” Bost said.

She said the generalized statements are not right for the state’s teachers and students and said there are a lot of factors to consider when making these decisions.

“Each district is different with the number of cases, whether states are spiking, or even districts in our own state,” Bost said.

She said consulting health and safety officials is also important before making these decisions.

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Some local parents said they agree.

“I think that the President should listen to the doctors and scientists,” one parent told WJZ.

Some believe it’s too soon to make a decision without all the facts.

“I think it’s a rush to judgment without the background information that he doesn’t obviously understand,” another parent said to WJZ.

Other parents disagree and would like to see a return back to schools after months of virtual learning.

“They need to get back to school,” a parent said. “We all have to get back to work. Something’s got to happen.”

There is no plan yet for a return to public schools in Maryland. State Schools Superintendent Karen Salmon said in a statement that “The Maryland State Department of Education continues to collaborate with local superintendents on a regular basis regarding next steps in our education recovery plan. As the governor has said, we will listen to the experts and the data.”

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Stetson Miller