Hundreds of protesters gather before Jefferson Parish School Board meeting

Jefferson Parish School Board Meeting

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Despite a big push to delay the start of Jefferson Parish schools tonight, classes will start on time next week.

That decision comes after a very abrupt end to the school board meeting tonight.

Tonight’s board meeting saw hours worth of testimony. Teachers told the board how they felt unprepared, without supplies, and are fearing for their lives and the lives of their students and families.

Board members interviewed an Ochsner doctor who has been consulting with the district, asking if he believed they were ready to go back to school.

There was a feeling among a number of board members that the district is not ready for the start of school.

The superintendent responded to some of those concerns saying they will work to solve those problems as soon as they arise.

There was a motion on the floor at one point tonight to delay the start of school with a second.

However, when it was taken up in the executive session, the board delayed a vote on the matter to the disappointment of at least two board members.

“It leaves it up to discussion. It’s not dead that wasn’t the end-all say all we’re gonna discuss and hopefully we end up delaying I can’t guarantee that but I’m hoping that will be the outcome,” said Simeon Dickerson, Jefferson Parish school board member.

Before Wednesday’s board meeting, hundreds of protestors stood outside.

Teachers, various unions, and other advocates and groups advocated for pushing back the start of school date or to opt for virtual.

It was just hours after the district announced a number of COVID cases among the 7,000 employees.

Though it's unknown how many or what schools reported the illnesses.

Board member Dickerson said there is still the potential to bring the motion back up again, though it’s uncertain if that could or will be done at a regular board meeting or an emergency called meeting.

Despite a push tonight with board support, students will be back in the classroom on August 12.

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