LEE COUNTY, Fla. — One parent is frustrated with the Lee County school district after her daughter struggled on the first day back to school.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do honestly!” says Samantha.
Her 6-year-old daughter's first day of first grade ended in tears.
"We already saw she was about to cry 3 different times and the last time she just couldn’t take it anymore," says Samantha. "I had to sign her off of Zoom."
Her daughter is enrolled in Lee Home Connect the online school option that has uses a teacher to instruct students live in an internet-based classroom.
Samantha quickly realized her daughter’s Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) prevented her from keeping up with the fast pace of the class.
"Everybody is talking all at once. The children have control over who’s muted, who’s on video, and who’s not on video. You can hear other parents talking to their children and it's very distracting. With ADHD, she can not have any distractions like that," says Samantha.
Samantha took matters into her own hands by calling and emailing the school district to remove her daughter from Lee Home Connect and switch her into Lee Virtual School so that she can work at her own pace.
"Basically her school told me there nothing they could do. Virtual is out of the question; it's closed," says Samantha. "I basically felt like I was being shut down. I wasn’t being heard."
Under the current model, unhappy parents can not switch their children to virtual school.
At the conclusion of the day Monday, the school system did send out an email to allow children to change from remote learning to face-to-face learning.
Samantha thinks that is great for other families but she is frustrated that the option to change to Lee Virtual School was not made available. She says she can not send her daughter back to the brick and mortar classroom because of health concerns relating to COVID-19.
"Now they (other parents) can go and decide, 'well this is not for me, I’m going to put them face to face'. Great for them! But they don’t have the same situation I have. I’m looking out for my daughter. My baby has asthma," says Samantha.
In a statement, the Lee County School District is asking parents like Samantha to be patient and give the system time to work out any issues.
The District also says any parent wanting to move their child to Lee Virtual School will have to wait until the end of the semester.