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TPS Board Member Responds to Stitt Singling out District in Call for All Schools to Return in Person


At a news conference Monday announcing new statewide measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Kevin Stitt said one of his goals was getting all schools back in person by the start of next year.

"Tulsa Public Schools, for example, has not been back in school this entire year, since last March. It breaks my heart what’s happening to those kids in the Tulsa Public Schools area," Stitt said.

Stitt announced measures including requiring bars and restaurants to space tables at least 6 feet apart and to close at 11 p.m. with a stated goal of having all students back in classrooms by January. TPS Board member John Croisant responded to the governor's comments at a Monday night meeting.

"The fact that we can say restaurants need to close at 11 and we don’t know how we’re going to enforce it and yet we won’t say we’re going to do a mask mandate? That’s ridiculous. I’m sorry. Everybody in here is doing our job, you know? And to say TPS or any other school should have kids back in there and he won’t put a mask mandate on things? That’s ridiculous," Croisant said.

Croisant also called on Stitt to do more.

"We need to lower the number of people meeting together. We need to put a mask mandate on everybody. Otherwise, whatever we do, we’ve got to keep our people safe. Period. And that’s just my thing, and I would be for going back to distance learning until these numbers are better," Croisant said.

TPS is currently moving forward with a phased plan to bring all students back by the start of January, but current COVID numbers could put that in jeopardy.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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