BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — Thursday morning, high school students walked out of their classrooms in a peaceful protest at Bessemer City High School.
Administrators at Bessemer City Schools told CBS 42 News that students are seeking more information about COVID-19 cases within the school district as Alabama faces thousands of new cases a day. According to the Alabama Department of Public Heath’s COVID-19 dashboard, BCS had 18 cases this week.
“We do not have what some may term, or what you are hearing, an outbreak here,” BCS Superintendent Dr. Autumn Jeter explained. “Like anywhere else, there are a few positive cases at our high school. We are monitoring those numbers; the district team and I are monitoring those numbers. But yes, they will be remote half the today and remote tomorrow, and they will return Tuesday (since) they are off on Monday.”
Families of the students received a phone call from the district notifying them that students were planning a protest.
“I was alerted that they were having a little thing out here for COVID because some of the students had COVID,” said Amy Diggins, a parent in the district. “So, I called the board; I couldn’t get any answer. I called the school; I couldn’t get an answer. So, I came up here and saw all this, so I just checked my children out.”
Diggins has two children enrolled at BCHS. She says the new school year has been full of ups and downs.
“My concern as a parent is just to close it down until you get it right and put them back on virtual learning and that’s just it,” said Diggins.
As a precaution, the district has decided to transition to remote learning but only for high school students.
When students and staff return to the building next, week masks and social distancing will continue to be enforced.
“I would want our parents to know that we will continue to be transparent here in Bessemer City Schools related to COVID. We know it’s scary; there’s a lot of unknowns; we get it, and we understand it from the district level. But we are going to look at it from all angles at the academic level of our students as well as their health and make the decision that is best for all,” Jeter said.
The next school board meeting is set for Sept. 9 at 6 p.m.