HONOLULU (KHON2) — Will public school students return to campus next Tuesday or will it be two weeks later? And what do parents think about a possible delay?

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KHON2 found that parents do want their kids to physically go to school–they believe they learn best that way. But many are torn because they also want to ensure their kids don’t get infected in school and bring the virus home.

The Department of Education is requesting the Board of Education push back students’ return to campus from August 4 to the 17th — giving teachers and schools more time to prepare.

Hawaii State Teachers Association president Corey Rosenlee, is in favor of the delay and said it’s a good start.

“It will give us all some time to make sure we have procedures in place to make sure campuses are safe. But we recognize there’s still a lot of questions that need to occur,” Rosenlee explained.

While the delay may keep kids safe from COVID-19, it is causing other problems for parents.

Single parent Corrina Brillon, who’s son will be in the 7th grade, said it’s been hard juggling work and what to do with her son when he’s not at school.

“I’ve closed down my business during lunches cause I don’t want him home alone.”

Brillon said she hopes the DOE can devise a solid plan soon.

“It’s like we’re going back and forth, back and forth. This COVID thing has everyone going crazy,” said Brillon.

Rachel Coel has an eight-year-old and a 10-year-old, both in public school.

“I just think it’s a pickle. I really do. I think it’s just a challenging situation.”

“Both my spouse and I are essential workers and we work full time throughout the week and we have no other support that we can place our kids elsewhere. So we need our kids in school.”

Still, she is in favor of pushing back their return to campus, but wonders if schools will even be ready on August 17.

“I’m not sure the two weeks will be enough. But how long and how far do we postpone this? And when is it enough?” asked Coel.

On the other hand, not all parents are on board with postponing school or for their children to be taught through distance learning.

Rachel Hong has two kids, one of them is starting kindergarten this fall.

“I think the kids need to be in school regularly, Monday through Friday, as they have always been. I just don’t think that the risk for children is high enough to justify cutting down school days so drastically like that,” Hong explained.

She said she’s been following the science and doctors online who claim the risk of children contracting and spreading COVID-19 is very low.

“It behaves very differently in kids so I just don’t see the risk,” said Hong.

Hong added that if the staff and school feel they need more time to prepare she ‘Can concede to that’ but otherwise she would prefer her kids to return to face-to-face schooling next Tuesday.

The Board of Education will meet Thursday to decide if students will return to campus next Tuesday or August 17.

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