SAN JOSE, Calif. - In the Bay Area, more families are considering moving out of California so their children can resume in person learning and play sports. A parent from San Jose’s largest school district is relocating his 11th grader to Texas.
"I was a student here, teacher, coach, and now parent," said parent Mike Flynn. "This year, San Jose Unified hasn’t given me much hope."
The loss of hope has led Flynn to move his 17-year-old son. The 11th grader at Willow Glen High School and member of the swim team will now live with his uncle in Texas.
"He can have some form of a life, participate in sports a little bit and find a possible school for next year," said Flynn.
Flynn is looking out for his son’s mental health. He’s frustrated students in other parts of the country are back in the classroom.
"If other states and other countries are doing it safely why is it, that ours can’t," said Flynn.
"One of the things about being a large district, it’s impossible to make every family happy all of the time," said Jennifer Maddox, public information officer for San Jose Unified.
Starting a week from Wednesday, San Jose Unified plans to start 50 in-person cohorts of up to a dozen students. Staff volunteers will support 500 students on various campuses with distance learning and extra-curricular activities.
Priority is given to K thru 2nd grade, 12 graders, those with special needs, and homeless youth.
"We also have an agreement with our labor groups that we will return to in person learning when the county is in the orange tier or when all of our employees have the opportunity to receive the covid-19 vaccination," said Maddox.
"We know from the experts that the science is telling us elementary schools can reopen safely," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.
Liccardo is among 11 mayors in the state’s largest cities supporting a petition to vaccinate teachers in hard-hit communities.
"I have a friend in my neighborhood who early in the pandemic had the kids move to Spain," said Dr. Thomas Plante, professor of psychology at Santa Clara University.
Psychologists say these parents’ actions are understandable.
Flynn hopes relocating his son is temporary. He knows he’s lucky. Nearly half the district’s families are low socioeconomic status.
"Teachers, I know they are working hard but they are still getting paid, but our kids they are suffering and they are not learning the same," said Flynn.
Santa Clara County has not yet given the district a date for vaccinating teachers. According to the district, only a third of parents surveyed wanted their children to return to in person learning.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.