Some worry SCS’s cleaner air plan might not be enough to keep students safe

Watch: Some worry SCS’s cleaner air plan might not be enough to keep students safe

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — The Superintendent of Shelby County Schools has a plan to bring students back to school but it could come with a $26 million price tag.

In a letter to the governor, Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray asked for money to pay for new air cleaning technology that will kill mold, bacteria, and viruses in all schools.

RELATED: SCS asks governor for clean air funding in order to reopen schools safely

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However, some parents worry this might not be enough to keep their kids safe.

“I’m in the middle of them wanting to go back to school but not wanting them to go back to school,” said SCS parent Shawandra Cox.

Cox said virtual learning is tough but she doesn’t think going back to school is a safe idea just yet.

FOX13 asked her what she thinks about a new technology the superintendent wants funding for which would help improve air quality by killing mold, bacteria, and viruses inside buildings.

“They ain’t even got a vaccine for the COVID so trying to do other things, I don’t think will work until we find a source to lessen the spread of the COVID,” said Cox.

Shelby Schools Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray thinks differently.

Last Friday, Dr. Ray sent a letter to the Governor’s office asking for $26 million to install the technology in every building.

In the letter, Dr. Ray said this technology will help protect students and teachers from airborne viruses like COVID-19.

He also hints at allowing students to return in person during flu season, which already started and runs as late as May.

FOX13 asked when SCS plans on returning kids to class but was told there is no specific date set.

“I don’t think that’s the perfect time because you’ll have the flu season and COVID,” said Cox.

While Cox is skeptical, others like Tarsha Jones thinks it’s worth seeing if the technology helps.

Jones currently works at SCS as a cafeteria worker.

“Ain’t nothing to it but to try," said Jones. "We can try. It ain’t nothing but to try.”

FOX13 reached out to the Governor’s office about the letter but didn’t hear back.

Cox said even if SCS gets funding for the technology she still won’t allow her kids to return to school in person.

“Even if another kid came in contact with someone who is positive that air filter isn’t going to cure that child,” said Cox.

SCS didn’t provide an exact date for returning students to class but said when they do, pre-kindergarten through third-grade students will be allowed back first because virtual learning is difficult for younger students and socialization is important for their academic success.