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Ben Asks A Question: If other places can open, why not schools?

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Posted at 6:24 PM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 18:25:16-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday it’s up to “local communities” to make decisions about whether or not students will have in-person or online classes for the upcoming school year.

The governor made that statement during his COVID-19 press briefing, in response to a question asked by Luis Gil of Ohio Latino TV. Due to time restrictions, I was unable to ask a question on Thursday.

Ben Asks a Question is a feature we started as a way to help give you a voice during Gov. Mike DeWine's daily press briefings. Since then, Ben has gotten hundreds of questions a day. If you'd like to ask a question, find us on Facebook and feel free to message us there, or send us an email at newsdesk@wcpo.com.

Gil asked a question that many Ohioans have reached out to me about though: “If people can go to supermarkets and other places freely … why can’t kids attend school (in person) this coming year?”

DeWine acknowledged his administration’s guidelines for school reopenings in the state.

“They’ve got a guidebook,” said DeWine. “But we have allowed those schools to make their own individual, community decision -- which should be a decision with the parents, it should be [a decision made] with the public, the school board and superintendent.

And while school districts around the state all seem to have their own plan, DeWine commented on the difficulty of finding the right solution for each community.

“These are tough decisions, and there’s no easy answers to them,” said DeWine. ”We don’t know where this virus is going to be in a month, or three weeks when school starts back in. What we’re trying to do, is to continue to fight every day, to do everything that we can to take these numbers down. And I truly believe what we do in the next several weeks will determine what school looks like in the fall.”

Finally, DeWine did allude to the possibility of his administration stepping in if needed -- telling Gil it’s "possible that this decision will be taken away from us, basically by the virus itself.”

DeWine is next set to address the public on Tuesday, Aug. 4.