Bakersfield kids go back to school adhering to COVID regulations

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — This Wednesday, is the first day of the new school year.

Kids across Bakersfield say they’re excited yet anxious to return to the classroom.

At 8:15 a.m. Wednesday, the gates opened for the first time at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School.

The children say they’re looking forward to making new friends, even if they have to wear masks.

These are the first children to enter, learn and grow at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Southeast Bakersfield. The school opened last year during the pandemic when classes were virtual. But now the gates are open and the kids are coming in.

“I’m excited about that I’m still going to school and that I’m not ever leaving,” My’kayla Luis a four year old in transitional kindergarten said. “I want to stay.”

But this school year is unlike any other. Mask rules are enforced. Some kids say they’re needed.

“Yeah, it really is because if you’re talking to someone you might spit in their face,” Alisson Gonzalez a fifth grader said.

According to faculty, the school’s COVID protocols do not allow adults on campus except for teachers and staff. Parents we talked with are ok with that and the mask requirement.

“Kids need to be safe,” Tracy Montgomery a Bakersfield mom said. “I think wearing masks is the best thing to do especially with the new delta variant out it’s super contagious and COVID is no joke.”

No one we met at MLK Elementary opposed the mask requirement. Many people embracing a return to the classroom are are in need of a break for mom and dad and especially for single parents.

{Kimberly Wilson // Bakersfield Single Mother}
Kimberly Wilson: “Man, It’s a relief, it’s a relief,” Kimberly Wilson a Bakersfield single mother said. “My kids get to come and be kids and be around other kids and learn to socialize.”

Students are not required to be vaccinated to go to school. Instead, they are required to wear masks but in some schools can remove them during outside play time.

According to state guidelines, teachers and staff are required to be vaccinated.

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