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Noem says kids should be in school

Wants districts to open schools in the fall
Governor Kristi Noem gives an update on back to school planning on Tuesday, July 28, at John Harris Elementary School in Sioux Falls, S.D. (Erin Bormett/The Argus Leader via AP)
Governor Kristi Noem gives an update on back to school planning on Tuesday, July 28, at John Harris Elementary School in Sioux Falls, S.D. (Erin Bormett/The Argus Leader via AP)(Erin Bormett/The Argus Leader via AP)
Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 3:08 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem says schools should open this fall.

In a media conference Tuesday morning, Noem addressed the upcoming school year. She says that it’s important for students to get back to school, claiming children thrive by having a routine. The governor also said in some cases not attending school could be harmful to children -- specifically in cases of abuse or neglect, since school officials can’t as easily monitor children who aren’t in classrooms.

Noem said current data doesn’t indicate that children transmit COVID-19, so masks shouldn’t be mandated in the classroom. She pointed out that children, especially young children who may be prone to fidget with masks, would have a hard time paying attention and learning. And that asking children to do that for a 7 or 8 hour day would not be practical.

“That’s the struggle that we all have. And I think having kiddos, sitting at their desk, trying to learn, while fighting with a mask and trying to breathe and not having it bother their nose, or their ears, all of that is a reality that our teachers and our administrators are going to have to deal with,” she said. “The most effective things those kids could do would be washing their hands on a regular basis throughout the day.”

Noem says every school district is different. In the event of an outbreak, each district will be encouraged to take whatever steps are necessary for the safety of students and staff.

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