Parents of students in the Metro Nashville Public Schools system have hit their breaking point after Friday’s decision to continue virtual learning after MLK Day. The school system has been closed to in-person learning for pre-K through fourth grade classes since Thanksgiving. Middle school and high school students haven’t been in a classroom since COVID closures began in the spring of 2020.
Add it all up and you have frustrated parents who have made school board chair Christiane Buggs enemy No. 1. In response, Buggs went on a tweet bender where she told the story of her retired father serving as a paraprofessional inside a Nashville school and coming down with COVID.
“I’ve been so anxious because my dad caught COVID in one of our buildings,” Buggs wrote November 24. “Thought we were going to lose him for about a week. So the rumors that schools aren’t a place for spread: FALSE! But we’re going virtual and working to better support all families.”
“So yes, I am school board chair which means I am a community leader who must place the well being of others ahead of my own. I am also a daughter who doesn’t want a single other person to experience what I or my family experienced.”
“One life lost is one too many,” Buggs added.
However, sixteen days before this tweet storm, Buggs enjoyed a “reset” vacation to St. Lucia after the busy election season. On election night, she even hosted a party at Willie B’s Kitchen, a Nashville bar and restaurant.
“St.Lucia was a perfect place to reset. Reconnect with every bit of this Black Girl Magic. Ready for the battles ahead!” Buggs wrote on Instagram.
Five days after Buggs went on a Twitter bender over her father’s battle with COVID and telling residents the schools would close because “one life lost is too many,” Dr. Anthony Fauci went on ABC’s This Week and said, “The default position should be to try as best as possible within reason to keep the children in school or to get them back to school.”
COVID spread “among children and from children is not really very big at all, not like one would have suspected,” Fauci said. “So let’s try to get the kids back.”
Nashville schools have been empty since Fauci gave districts his advice and, based on a COVID risk score assessment tool the district uses, there’s no timeline to return, according to The Tennessean.