Stillwater Students Voice Concerns Over COVID-19 Plans

Wednesday, September 16th 2020, 5:48 pm
By: Tevis Hillis

STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

Students called for administrators for Stillwater Public Schools to listen to their concerns if they do not go back to school.

"The football team, they do not necessarily have traveling teams, so they have to rely on the high school season to get their highlight videos to be recruited," said Alex Griffin, a senior.

"A few other guys and I do not have any senior guys do not have any film to show to recruiters," said Luke McEndoo, a senior.

With sports at the forefront of their fight, students are also concerned about younger students getting an education.

"Those kids are home all day by themselves, trying to do 1st and 2nd grade," said Gatin Wilson, senior.

"They just need the teacher there in person to help them," said Griffin.

On Tuesday, students were able to meet with Stillwater Public Schools Superintendent Marc Moore.

They discussed several things including what's next for the sports season and why other counties are handling school reopenings differently.

Payne County is currently in the red category for COVID-19 cases.

The state recommends red counties close buildings and provide distance learning until they enter the orange level 1 category. 

In a professional development meeting Wednesday for Stillwater's Board of Education, Steve Hallgren asked why this is a concern now.

On Thursday, Stillwater Public Schools will have a virtual meeting at 5:30 p.m.

Parents and students said they will be there to have their voices heard.

The following statement was sent to News 9 Wednesday night:

The Stillwater Board of Education’s newest member Steve Hallgren contacted the district with a statement following what he considers a misstep at a September 16 Board retreat.

“I expressed myself poorly during that meeting. First and foremost, I’d like to apologize for my comments that offended members of the Stillwater community. My intention was not to belittle their feelings or their involvement in the education of their children.

“I am aware that the families of Stillwater are very involved in the educational and extracurricular lives of their children. COVID-19 has made us all hyperfocus on the importance of the public school system and elevated parent feedback to unheard of levels, especially in recent weeks. The high level of participation is beneficial to proper governance of Stillwater Public Schools and is highly appreciated. 

“I apologize that I did not properly express my thoughts during today’s meeting and will endeavor to better reflect the values of the Board and community that I will serve going forward.”