Online petition calls for Florida schools to remain closed for rest of year

Teaching a 6th grader and a 3rd grader can be a difficult task. 

"As parents, we are really our biggest job is to focus on creating a safe, healthy and secure environment," said Shelby Isaacson. 

Shelby Isaacson, her husband and children have finally found a balance of educating from home. Putting them back in the classroom, she said, could throw everything off. 

"I think the big thing that we are all forgetting is the traumatic experience that we are all dealing with together,” she said. “I feel like by reopening schools for just a matter of weeks will cause a whole level of imbalance.” 

She also worries about her son and his asthma as the cases of COVID-19 increases. 

"There's been multiple times he’s been hospitalized for pneumonia so I feel like even for me as a parent I would want to hold my children back even if school did reopen and I would just take the hit," explained Isaacson. 

Governor Ron DeSantis created a task force to help him decide whether to reopen schools this year. 

"If we get to the point where people think that we are on the other side of this and we could get kids back in for a few weeks, we think there would be value in that," he said earlier this month. 

The Florida Education Association said reopening schools this year would be unwise. 

Right now schools are following the guidelines of the Florida Department of Education Commissioner. 

Commissioner Richard Corcoran has said schools will remain closed until at least May 1st. 

"We miss our students, we love our classrooms, we love what we do but we cannot ensure their safety," said Florida Education Association President Fedrick Ingram. 

Ingram sent a letter to Governor DeSantis saying he's concerned for the safety of students and staff. 

"We have to be able to test our children, we have to be able to test people in society to make sure that people who are asymptomatic are not spreaders of that disease,” he explained. “We have to make sure we can protect those who have underlying issues inclusive of our students.” 

He's not alone. A petition has generated more than 35,000 signatures. It's calling for the schools to only resume in person once it's safe. 

"We need this small inconvenience to happen to ensure lifelong safety of all of our students," said Ingram.