GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Whether South Carolina students should go back to the classroom in the Fall has drawn protesters on both sides, and both sides will be represented on the ballot for Greenville County School Board this November.
The Greenville County School District’s plan calls for minimal in-person learning while coronavirus spread remains high. The current school board will vote on the district’s plan on August 4.
“Parents for the Return of Extracurriculars, Schools and Sports,” or “P.R.E.S.S.,” is a Facebook group with more than 4,000 members. At least two of them are taking the group’s mission and running with it– as candidates for the Greenville County School Board.
“With the uncertainties of school this year, I just went ahead and went for it,” said Sarah Dulin, who is running to represent the Five Forks and Fountain Inn area in District 27.
Dulin is a stay at home mom of four who has worked with kids with special needs in the past.
“I share that same opinion with a lot of families that public schools should be there for the children who want it and need it everyday,” Dulin said.
District 27 is currently represented by Crystal Ball O’Connor, an educator and children’s book author. She told 7 News that she’s glad people are recognizing the importance of the work the board does, and that she feels comfortable with the district’s plan to gather data and monitor the pandemic.
In the northern part of the county, Dollie Collins, an operating room nurse and mom of three who who is in support of the “P.R.E.S.S.” Facebook group is running to represent Area 17 on the board.
“I think it’s very important for the students to have an opportunity for that face to face learning,” she said.
She’s running against Carolyn Styles, a former teacher who recently retired after 25 years as principal at Skyland Elementary School.
“We always have to sway on the side of our students and on the side of safety,” Styles said. “And with an aging population of teachers, we also have to be very cognizant of that, and we also have to consider their health.”
Monday, hundreds of teachers protested schools re-opening at the South Carolina governor’s mansion. Dottie Adams, who is a board member of the teacher-founded group that organized the protest, “SC for Ed,” told 7 News they think the Greenville County School District has a good plan for this school year and that it’s one of the most detailed in the state.
The Greenville County School Board election will be held November 3.