As the mother of four schoolchildren who did not step foot in a classroom all of last year due to the pandemic, U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill is not afraid to voice her opinion on kids returning to the classroom.
“We’ve got to get them back to school,” Sherrill (D-11th Dist.) said. “I think the emotional and mental health issues outweigh the fact that they may have to wear masks, or they may have to socially distance.
“We’ve been at this for a while; we know how to do this safely.”
That includes more vaccinations.
Sherrill said she feels the teachers should all be vaccinated — and that more kids need to get vaccinated to help those who are not old enough to get the vaccine.
Sherrill said she’s hoping the eligibility age will be lowered, too.
“I have two kids who are too young to get vaccinated,” he said. “So, I’m working very hard with the White House to make sure that we get the approval for that as quickly as possible, while doing so safely.”
Until then, she said, those who are eligible for the vaccine should get it, she urged.
“The mental health issues we’ve seen with kids being out of school are (real),” she said. “I think that makes it very critically important that we get kids back in school.
“But we have got to protect them. Some are simply too young to get the vaccine. That’s what makes it incumbent upon all of us who can receive the vaccine to do so.”
Sherrill acknowledges that cases are rising again, but stressed schools need to find a way to bring kids back.
“It’s not always easy — you may have to do pods, you may have to shut down a couple times — but I do think that, just for the mental health of our kids, that they have to be back,” she said. “I’ve heard so many stories from parents who are very worried about this.”