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Our old friend Metro Nashville Public Schools board chair Christiane Buggs has locked her Instagram page as the heat continues to rise from parents who are desperate for their children to return to school. Elementary schools have been closed since Thanksgiving. Middle school and high school students haven’t been in classrooms since March 2020.
Parents from a group called Let Nashville Parents Choose have zeroed in on Buggs and the choices she made in the fall — a trip to St. Lucia, hosting an election night party & going out to a party around Halloween — while at the same time not allowing parents to choose whether to return their kids to classrooms.
Buggs is now fighting back, calling pressure from parents “an unfortunate distraction.”
“I empathize with the frustrations of parents over this pandemic and the resulting impact on their children. As Board Chair, I’ve been working with Dr. Battle to ensure we are meeting the many needs of our students while prioritizing a return to classrooms when the metrics are safe. I made the decision in September to resume in-person meetings and to offer time for public comment because it was important that we hear from the parents and staff that we serve in MNPS,” Buggs said in a statement, according to The Tennessean.
“Taking personal events in my life that occurred nearly three months ago when our youngest learners were already back in classrooms is an unfortunate distraction from the issues and challenges we face today. Though I appreciate being held accountable for my actions, I followed safety protocols to the greatest extent possible and my activities were well within the guidelines adopted by the city.”
Buggs, who has locked her Instagram showing the St. Lucia trip photos and a flyer showing her hosting an election night party, can deflect all she wants and drop as many “unfortunate distraction” swipes as she wants. These parents are desperate. They’re tired of rules for thee, not for me politicians and school representatives — like the Chicago union leader who enjoyed Puerto Rico while saying it was too dangerous to reopen schools — telling them one thing and doing another.
This isn’t too hard to comprehend and shouldn’t be for Buggs, who went on a “One life lost is one too many,” tweet bender back on November 24 when her father came down with COVID. Buggs blames a school building for her dad getting COVID.
Parents want answers. They want to know why it’s OK for the school district to send kids to the YMCA via a contract. They want to know why the New York Times runs the headline above, yet the Nashville school district stays closed. They want to know why the school board chair who says it’s not worth losing one life is hosting events at bars and traveling out of the country.
Meanwhile, things are also heating up at the Tennessee legislature where politicians are talking about withholding funding for districts that don’t offer in-person learning for at least 70 days for K-8 students.