Maureen Siegmund is a parent of three students in Stafford County schools. She said she is advocating for an in-person option for the physical safety and educational equity of all students.
“First and foremost, teachers are our nation’s first responders,” she said. “They are mandatory reporters for a reason and with children not in school, they are not able to fulfill that role in society.”
Siegmund said she worries about the impact of increased screen time on children’s developing brains and eyesight, and said she feels that if stores, churches and restaurants can be open, schools should be open, as well, “because school is a lifeline.”
“A parent who doesn’t have a day care option should have the choice to send their kids to school,” she said. “A parent who cannot support their child’s education should have the option of them being with someone who can help them learn. Stafford has always been about educational equity, and we cannot control for equity at home.”
Stephanie Mojica is another Stafford public school parent advocating for a full return to in-person learning. She said virtual learning has contributed to anxiety, weight gain, vision problems and educational regression for both her children, especially her son, who has several learning disabilities.
“It’s just a complete nightmare,” Mojica said. “These kids are getting half the education they should be receiving, but then the county still gets their full funding for education. Private schools can be open. Other places can be open. Why can’t our schools be open? It makes no sense at all.”