A school district in Florida is facing backlash for a promotional video on reopening schools. The video, shared to the Manatee County School District’s Facebook page last week, was meant to inform the community about what reopened schools would look like. Instead, like the Disney World welcome back videos, it’s inspired dread and fear.
One local parent shared the video on TikTok, where it went viral, Buzzfeed News reports. In her TikTok, Tiffany Jenkins called the video “apocalyptic” and compared it to The Hunger Games. In her caption, she wrote, “I feel like I’m living in an M. Night Shyamalan movie dude.”
I feel like I’m living in an M. Night. Shyamalan movie dude.♬ original sound – jugglingthejenkins
The video shows teachers in PPE gear (face masks, shields, and lab coats), children with masks, students social distancing in classes and around campus, and temperature check procedures. On Facebook, the original post has been shared thousands of times and the comments section is full of upset parents.
One commenter wrote, “That video just reaffirms that school shouldn’t be opening. That looks like a prison for kids. Teachers in lab coats, kids walk alone, eat alone, no talking.”
Despite the backlash, the school district is set to reopen schools on August 17, with three plans for parents to choose from. Students can return to school for full-time, in-person classes, attend a hybrid schedule of in-person and remote instruction, or continue with remote instruction full-time.
The Push Against Schools Reopening
The school district is hardly the first to receive backlash for reopening schools. The Hazelwood School District in St. Louis, Missouri made headlines after they issued what was called the “COVID death waiver.” The form was targeted toward student-athletes and would absolve the district of legal liability if students contracted COVID-19. Likewise, Arizona school districts are also offering students waivers if they plan on returning to in-person classes this fall.
Florida’s largest teachers union, Florida Education Association (FEA), filed a lawsuit against the state and government officials in an effort to stop the “reckless and unsafe re-opening of schools.”
Watch the full video below: