Clayton Schools, like districts across metro Atlanta, last held classes March 13, one day after Gov. Brian Kemp suggested school systems close their doors because of the fast-moving coronavirus.
At the time, Kemp hinted the closures could last for two weeks. But that timeline has since either shifted or been discarded as the nation grapples with a pandemic that has killed 471 Americans and infected close to 35,000. Almost 800 Georgians had been infected by the virus as of midday Monday, with about 25 deaths.
During that same period, Clayton has had 18 confirmed cases.
Beasley told viewers the district is distributing breakfast and lunch to students at 21 schools across the county and that Clayton is joining forces later this week with the Atlanta Community Food Bank to also provide groceries at some sites.
He also responded to overwhelmed parents who have complained that they aren’t equipped to be teachers as the school closing drags on.
“Many of you are sending us emails saying, ‘We’re not teachers,’” he said. “We understand. We’re just asking that you do what you can as parents.”
Residents left hundreds of comments, ranging from questions about how parents who can’t afford computers can get access to the Internet to kudos from parents who said they were thankful the district was putting children’s safety first.
Others, however, seemed less than satisfied. One poster said Beasley should have cancelled prom and graduation.
In wrapping up, Beasley said he wanted to leave on a positive note.
“This is not the time to worry about events we can’t control,” he said. “We need to have a positive attitude, a victorious attitude that tells us no matter what we go through, we’ll get through this.”