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Parents Protest To Open Bensalem Schools



Alex Lloyd Gross-Photo Delaware Valley News.com Eric Price and Heather Nicholas listen to residents concerns

by Alex Lloyd Gross

A small but vocal group of parents who have children in the Bensalem School District met for a protest at the  Bensalem School Administration Building on Donallen Drive. They want an option to have the schools open, at least part of the time. “This does not work for a lot of us” , said Misty Pettyjohn, one of the organizers of the event.  “Currently,  we were told that this learning will be remote learning, and we want another option, have children in school a day or two per week or something”. Schools have been closed  due to COVID-19 and many school districts are slow to re open.

She is not alone with her concerns. Special needs children are a unique breed. While some learn quickly in the right environment, a good number have a problem sitting down in front of a computer screen for an extended time. “The other concern is what if someone has a question?  Parents work, ” Pettyjohn said. It is not learning that 2×2=4, but rather making sure children don’t answer a different number.  “Catholic Schools are opening,” Pettyjohn said.

Parents of younger children will have to have someone in the house, to insure they are safe and doing the work. You cannot leave an eight year old  alone all day. Teenagers may learn in front of the computer but parents at this protest feel they can learn better in school. Some children will study X-Box or Bike as opposed to US History. When there is no supervision, kids  are on the honor system.

School Board Director Eric Price and Heather Nicholas, School Board Vice President showed up  to speak with the parents. “i want my kid back in the school building just like you do,” Price said.  He added, “This is a puzzle, trying to do this safe and when you think you have the last piece of the puzzle figured out, it does not fit because it has changed”.

Alex Lloyd Gross- Photo-Delaware Valley News.com Misty Pettyjohn talks with the media as the school board talks with parents in the background.

The board members voted not to re open the schools. According to Nicholas, “The vote to approve the health and safety plan was this past Wednesday. The initial survey was at the end of June.” Only one board member,  Stephanie Ferrandez voted to against the health and safety plane because of the dates.  Price said he was attending the protest as a parent, not representing the school board..  Many people in the township are now questioning why the school tax is so high, with the buildings closed. Some of them were at this protest as well.

“We have a lot of great teachers in this district,”  Pettyjohn said. “This protest is not about them, this is about our children and them getting the best education they can.and doing it safe”.


Alex Lloyd Gross
Alex Lloyd Gross has the reputation for aggressive news coverage. With over 40 years experience including working at The News Gleaner, and had his work published in books and magazines that span the entire globe. With a strong background in emergency service related topics, he can bring forth a perspective that others cannot.
A contributor to Starfile Photo Agency for 20 years, Alex has been given access to and has photographed luminaries of both stage and screen.
He now shares his talent with you.

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10 Responses “Parents Protest To Open Bensalem Schools”

  1. Andrea Buchanan
    August 15, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    Thank you for covering this…we’re not done yet.

  2. Jennifer Shannon
    August 15, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    A bunch of idiots, who don’t care about their educators or children. Teachers are NOT babysitters! Make it work! If one parent has to stay home then that’s a sacrifice you need to take.

    • August 17, 2020 at 7:12 pm

      I so agree. People would rather put their child at risk versus having to stay with them at home. Careless and neglectful. So, my child will do virtue learning while they test run any in school learning plan. What crazy is the virus has shown the country what will happen when schools reopen. So don’t stay home with your child but if they get sick now you will have no choice but too. We have seen the fools on tv with mud in their faces. Wake up.

  3. Morgan
    August 16, 2020 at 1:43 am

    I understand everyone wanting to maintain safety, but it is completely ridiculous that schools have been closed since March. Children these days have enough issues learning Without considering the fact that they aren’t actually in class now. I can’t imagine having to learn calculus from home. You also have to consider the economical issues. If you are a parent who works 9 to 5 and expect your 10 year old to be in school from 8-3 you now have the added burden up having to find child care for your child, which is an added expense. If someone is already struggling to pay their bills, they won’t be able to do that. So this is just a further way to separate middle and lower class, while keeping struggling parents in the financial world. I also love that teachers are essentially doing half of the work however school taxes are the same, and salaries are the same. What is the school principal being paid for at this point? He has no kids to principal.
    I honestly hope that they are able to get children back into school soon because otherwise kids will have essentially missed an entire year of learning and at this age that is a critical year.

  4. Trisha Fitzpatrick
    August 16, 2020 at 9:58 am

    Children under the age of 15 have a greater chance of being struck by lightening than dying from COVID-19. Middle aged healthy adults have very little risk. If you are an older teacher with comorbidities, you teach from home and let everyone else go back to school. The risks to children’s health are far greater from not attending school than they are from the virus. We don’t shut down schools for the flu which is far deadlier to children and healthy adults.

  5. Trisha Fitzpatrick
    August 16, 2020 at 11:11 am

    I see you won’t print my comment about the truth regarding this disease. Children are not affected. Middle aged people do better than if they had the flu. Many are asymptomatic. This disease has become a political weapon with no regard to how the policies are destroying people’s lives. I am sure you won’t print this either.

    • John Richards
      August 17, 2020 at 6:30 pm

      Young children cases and deaths have shot up in the last month. Children are now being infected and facing complications at a heightened rate. They tell you children will be okay but that’s overall. What if it’s your child that contracts it and isn’t okay? Your friends child? What if they died? I like how residents are willing to sacrifice/ chance that to work a job that doesn’t care about them. I hope the almighty dollar and your work schedule are more important that your children.

  6. Michelle Kearney
    August 16, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    These are comments of the self entitled and uninformed. Or just dont care. I can even waste my time on this. Just Wow

  7. Joe Kraher
    August 18, 2020 at 12:36 am

    Bensalem is really a Nut Job Community. I should have known it, when I moved to the neighborhood and the community issue was getting an ordinance to not let children play in the street! What loving people.

  8. christine McMullin
    August 18, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    WHERE ARE YOUR MASKS…….and you expect kids to wear masks all day if they were in school. This is definitely a group not doing the right thing!!!!!

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