People are outraged by the visuals seen in Florida school district’s video about reopening for in-person instruction for the coming school year.
The video, which shows various ways the Manatee County School District will supposedly ensure safety for students with masks and social distancing, left many viewers calling the video “apocalyptic” and “prison-like.”
You can watch the video here:
The video shows small children masked, walking socially distanced in single-file lines and being taught by teachers in masks and face shields while a voiceover speaks enthusiastically about the district’s safety precautions.
“The reopening plan represents the hard work of parents, district leaders and educators who worked together to develop comprehensive plans to ensure a safe return to school.”
But the visuals are sobering, and reminded many of dystopian films.
TikTok influencer Tiffany Jenkins, who lives in the district, called the video “a little Hunger Games-y.”
@jugglingthejenkinsI feel like I’m living in an M. Night. Shyamalan movie dude.♬ original sound – jugglingthejenkins
In her caption of the video, Jenkins also referenced horror movies.
“I feel like I’m living in an M. Night. Shyamalan movie dude.”
Speaking with BuzzFeed News, Jenkins said the video made her sad for the students.
“It made me sad how different the experience would be. It feels like a punishment for the kids. That makes me sad.”
“The kids are kids. The idea that they have to focus on distancing, or to keep their masks on to be so far from their friends, it’s heartbreaking.”
Other parents in Manatee County were left similarly unconvinced by the video.
Mother of three Erica Howard told BuzzFeed she found the district’s take totally implausible.
“The fact they expect this to happen—expecting kids to sit at tables away from each other, having fields between them, especially preschoolers and kindergarteners … I didn’t think it was realistic.”
“Schools need to open for parents who have to work and can’t be with their kids during the day but what they’re projecting is unrealistic.”
On social media, people, including many parents in the district, were horrified.
All I see is Pink Floyd’s video for Another Brick in the Wall
— Glenn (@Tyhaipropman) July 30, 2020
This video from the Manatee County School District is… something.
The masks, the distancing, the incredible lifelessness of the whole ordeal.
People cite kids' mental health as a reason to go back to in-person schooling, but this doesn't look healthy.https://t.co/37XktmYgbn
— Adriana White, MLIS (@Adriana_Edu) July 31, 2020
All I see coming from this is increased suicide rates and they have already been increasing this year due to the lockdowns…at some point we need to decide whats more important mental health or risking a .01% death rate…
— Chris (@lavosslayer) July 31, 2020
How can you argue that this is better for our nationa'a youth? This takes far more of an emotional toll on the students than online instruction would. https://t.co/VMtaW80Q1X
— Michael Dixon 🧢 🍎 🎼🌺 (@littledixon1994) July 30, 2020
almost like it is a bad thing that will kill children https://t.co/K3hqCSgYrp
— should i start skateboarding? (@DaisyPowerHour) July 30, 2020
Many education and public health experts have said that reopening plans should be driven by local infection rates, and have decried the Trump administration’s demands that all schools nationwide reopen and threats to deny funding if they refuse.