COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus City Schools is a few days away from starting classes, but a potential strike is near. NBC4’s Cynthia Hill spoke with parents and experts who say, if it happens, they are concerned about student development.
Parents say they hope a resolution is met soon, and that their child’s routine is important to their success in the classroom.
Six-year-old Nicky is about to start Kindergarten at Parsons Elementary School. His grandmother, Beth Brown, says she suggested her daughter put him in in-person classes instead of homeschooling so he could gain more social skills.
“My main concern was that, education of course, but mostly the social atmosphere of being around other children and learning from them,” said Brown.
Now, a strong start could be jeopardized by a potential teachers’ strike.
“He’s going to need probably speech and a little bit of special help, but not a whole lot,” said Brown.
Dr. Colette Dollarhide of OSU’s College of Education and Human Ecology said getting into a routine as soon as possible will keep students like Nicky focused.
“There’s a developmental trajectory that happens in the classroom every year, and at the beginning of the year, it’s a particularly difficult time to disrupt that normal developmental process,” said Dollarhide.
Susan Weils, whose two children graduated from Centennial high School, said she understands both sides.
“I think it’s really important for our teachers to get what they need in order to teach in an environment that they’re teaching, and the pandemic has been horrible for them,” said Weils. “They deserve, they deserve things.”
Brown just hopes Nicky can get the support he really needs.
“Especially going into kindergarten, because there’s so much anxiety involved in that with kids,” said Brown.
Dollarhide said anxiety could be heightened by already dealing with the stress of school safety and the pandemic.
In the next few days, the teachers’ union will decide if they’ll strike at the start of the school year.