Durham parent disappointed with DPS remote learning decision


DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – While Durham Public Schools has decided to continue with virtual learning for through the fall semester, some parents say remote learning is not working for them

Melissa Lee, a Durham parent, has four of her own children and another four whose parents drop them off while they go to work.

“They’re retaining so little,” said Lee.

Lee said the children are not getting the same level of education they would in a classroom setting.

“Break downs are happening. We have tears falling, temper tantrums. I don’t like is is being yelled. I hate this is being yelled,” said Lee.

She wants them back in the classroom. Playing the role of teacher and parent has been difficult. She said it’s also hard to find a balance between an enjoyable school day and home life.

“I can’t teach some of this stuff because I don’t understand it. I want to have a cry and a melt down with these kids,” she said.

It’s tough for her youngest daughter who has an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Not getting her individualized help from support staff or a teacher has taken it’s toll.

“I just cant get her motivated to want to do it,” said Lee.

Durham Public Schools chose to stay remote for the school year as a precaution against COVID-19. A survey from the district showed most families and teachers wanted to stay remote.

Click here for full survey results.

During Thursday’s board of education meeting, board member Matthew Sears said, “I don’t anticipate supporting a Plan B that is forcing teachers into the classroom when they’re not comfortable.”

But Lee says she doesn’t see enough data to show children could easily spread the virus in a school setting.

Lee said she’s open to implementing safety protocols as long as her child can be in a traditional class setting.

“If you want to wear a mask, please do. I have no problem. If you want my kid to wear a mask, I’ll put my kid in a mask,” she said.

For now- she says remote learning just isn’t working anymore.

“I don’t know how much longer these parents can go on or even I can go on,” said Lee.

Learning Centers

Below is a list of DPS Learning Center. There is a $35 registration fee. Click here for more information.

  • Eno Valley Elementary (beginning August 24)
    117 Milton Rd., Durham  (Learning Center Phone: 919-287-5675)
  • WG Pearson Elementary (beginning August 24)
    3501 Fayetteville St., Durham  (Learning Center Phone: 919-287-5689)
  • Southwest Elementary (beginning August 24)
    2320 Cook Rd, Durham  (Learning Center Phone: 919-287-5694)
  • Carrington Middle (beginning August 31)227 Milton Rd., Durham  (Learning Center Phone: 919-287-5699)
  • Githens Middle (beginning August 31)
    4800 Old Chapel Hill Rd., Durham  (Learning Center Phone: 919-287-5701)
  • Shepard Middle (beginning August 31)2401 Dakota St., Durham  (Learning Center Phone: 919-287-5705)

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