Kids need to be back in the classroom

I am sending this letter in order to tell you my story, and to express my concerns.

We live in Madison County. I have four children, three of which are in the Madison County School System.

One elementary, one middle schooler and one high schooler. I work full-time as a nurse. My husband works full-time as a pilot. We have worked throughout the entire pandemic -- full-time.

My youngest daughter is in fourth grade. She is eager to learn, enjoys learning, and puts 110% into her studies. Her grades are now Cs and Ds and she struggles with reading.

I have reached out to her teachers and her counselors. We were doing tutoring at school two days a week. When that stopped, she started doing tutoring via Zoom.

This isn't enough.

She needs in-person learning.

We are failing her. The school system is failing her!

We cannot continue to do this to our children. She needs more, she deserves more.

My middle schooler is disengaged. She is a straight A student. She has always excelled in her studies. She has no desire to even sign on to Zoom anymore.

She describes it as useless and a waste of her time. It is not challenging her. She has lost all interest in school.

Madison County schools are failing her. She needs more, she deserves more.

My high schooler is a sophomore. Last year at this time, she was conditioning for soccer, was social and making As and Bs. She had a glow, a light.

She has completely lost that glow.

She spends most days in her pajamas and in her room. She is emotionally struggling. She has lost the drive, the motivation to get up and get going.

How many students are struggling?

How many calls are the teachers and staff getting on a daily basis about Zoom and online learning?

How much time is being wasted on technical difficulties rather than the basics of education?

I know in my household all of my kids are struggling. Their grades are going down day-by-day. At least once a day one of my children are having technical difficulties and missing out on class time due to computer issues, assignment issues or connection problems.

I want to encourage you to look into the amount of emotional issues this is surfacing in our county. Call around to local family practitioners, pediatricians and emergency rooms.

How many kids are now being seen for some type of emotional, mental issue compared to the years past?

How many kids are now dealing with depression compared to 2019?

How much has our suicide rate increased?

It's also important to factor in physical health as well. How many kids are gaining weight?

The pandemic has made us look at health so forcefully. Let's take a moment and look at the long-term effects of the sedentary lifestyles these kids are now being forced into.

How many kids have now entered the obesity range? These are physical barriers that could follow them a lifetime.

Are we as a county failing our kids?

Absolutely, every day that we postpone in classroom learning.

Madison County gave us an option of online or in-person. If there are parents and students satisfied with online learning and not ready or hesitant to enter the school systems, that's OK.

But please, I, we, my children, are begging to go to in-person learning, consistently.

Other counties are going back to school five days a week. Why are we letting our children down?

Other states, other countries never stopped their kids from going to school. Madison County is failing our children, our future.

At this point should we pull our children out of public schools? Is that what the parents of Madison County need to do?

We are homeschooling. essentially. anyway at this point. Would my kids get a better education by looking into a private school or finding a better way of homeschooling?

My hopes and prayers are that we can get our kids back in schools for in person learning.

At ALL ages.

Sports are still a go. Do we not prioritize learning, education and knowledge before sports?

Let's be honest, Kentucky schools are low in the ranking already in the US. Let's not push that even lower.

Amanda Palmer

Madison County

Calipari stepped over the line

The National Anthem reflects respect for the history, along with the struggles and tradition of America and for those who suffered and died for the freedoms we enjoy.

Standing for the National Anthem is a show of that support and respect.

It's appalling when a group of 19 and 20-year-olds take a knee in denial. It reflects poor judgment and understanding on their part. But, what is worse is when their leaders condone their actions and join in their protest.

Winning and representing the Commonwealth of Kentucky are fundamental purposes and reasons of being for the UK men's basketball. So far, neither purpose is being realized.

Winning, in time, may be accomplished. But representing Kentucky has suffered a devastating blow.

Coach John Calipari and his staff have stepped over the line. Hopefully, an apology is in the offing.

If not, the university needs to take action. As a UK alumnus, long-time basketball fan and native Kentuckian, it is my recommendation to find new leadership for the basketball program.

Bring back Kenny Payne.

Ed Ford


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