Franklin County School Superintendent Speaks Out on Decision to Keep Schools Open

Franklin County School Superintendent Chris Forrer is speaking out on the school system’s handling of in-class learning versus extracurricular, after-school activities including sports programs.

At their work session last week, Forrer made a statement regarding complaints from some parents who are opposed to in-class sessions but still want after-school activities, such as prom and sports.

Forrer said the school system and the School Board will always act in the best interest of the student.

“There are other counties in the area that have gone fully virtual but continue to operate sports full blast. Franklin County will not be one of those. Our first priority is the safety of our students. Our second priority is student learning. All other things, athletics and the arts come after that. Our schools are open because that is what the data supported and because it was the right thing to do. What is best for our students is to show them that we as a community value learning,” he said.

Forrer told a story about muppet creator Jim Henson who offered country music star Jimmy Dean a 40% interest in the muppets when Henson was just starting out 50 years ago.

Forrer said Dean declined because he did not believe he should profit from another man’s idea and hard work – a decision Dean said years later after Henson had made millions with the Muppets, that he never regretted because he believed it was the right thing to do.

Forrer said he and the school board will continue to do what’s right for the students.

“As long as I’m Superindentent academics will come first. Just like Jimmy Dean 50 years ago I will make a decision of conscience and we will continue to hold the belief that you can never regret doing the right thing. So, all these people who said, ‘close school but have prom’ and ‘close school but don’t touch sports’ it’s a package deal.  In Franklin County, we’re here to educate children and that is our first priority,” he concluded.