Parents question before school policy after photo circulates of student sitting outside of Minot school on a cold day

Local News

Parents say they want answers from one school district after a photo of a student waiting outside in the cold went viral on social media.

KX News sat down with the assistant superintendent of Minot Public Schools and parents who voiced their concerns.

This photo was posted in the Minot Whiners and Complainers Facebook group. The student is waiting outside Central Campus in Minot under a blanket and coat.

The assistant superintendent says students have to wait outside as a coronavirus precaution.

Kids are not allowed in the schools before a certain time, to reduce the risk of close contacts.

Parents in the Magic City say they’re “outraged” and asking why students are not allowed inside before school starts.

“We can’t have kids congregate like that during a pandemic,” said the Assistant Superintendent, Kim Slotsve.

She adds that kids can be allowed inside if the student is in a before-school program or if it’s 5 degrees below zero.

At Jim Hill Middle School, there are 90 spots available for parents to sign their kids up and Slotsve says there are still spots left.

However, some parents we spoke to say they shouldn’t have to sign up.

“90 children could get into school and be watched without adding additional jobs or like where they have to pay teachers. Nothing is really being changed financially for the school. Just let the kids into the school,” said Tera Amsbury.

“My parents trained me, or raised me, that five minutes or 10 minutes early is a good thing. I just don’t think that should be looked down because you’re a couple minutes early,” said Mike Waage.

“As long as they’re following like mask procedures and everything else. Like if people can go out to the bars and not wear a mask, or go out to a restaurant, why can’t our kids go inside if they’re three minutes early?” said Alyssa Waage.

Another parent we spoke to says a few minutes, turns into more.

“I just feel that every time a school might give an inch, there’s going to be somebody that’s going to take a mile from it and I just think that everybody that works at the schools is probably already stressed out with everything that needs to go on especially during a pandemic,” said Kyra Hansen.

Parents like Amsbury are offering other ideas to allow kids inside.

“I will volunteer my time to go in and sit with the kids before school or after school so that the kids don’t have to get kicked out right away and they can still be spaced in the classrooms or the gym or wherever and the school is not being held financially accountable for that. no teachers will have to stay after because the parents are looking after the children,” Amsbury said.

Slotsve says it isn’t that easy and it’s actually a liability.

“That is a nice offer, but we would not put non-employees in charge of students,” Slotsve said.

Slotsve wants parents to reach out and communicate with the schools if they do need special accommodation.

And Hansen is asking the community to think twice before posting on social media.

“I think in this social media era, we take to social media before actually reaching out and talking to somebody or looking for resources. It’s just getting mad and blasting it on social media right away and that never makes the situation good,” Hansen said.

Slotsve says they are considering adding the morning supervision to Central Campus since more kids get dropped off in the morning.

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