You can watch the meeting in the video player at the bottom of this article.
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- The Las Cruces Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday night against having elementary school students return to campus during the fall semester.
"I know that sending back to the classroom is what our students need, but I also know that we are not in control of the virus," said board member Maria Flores, who represents district three.
Board members agreed with Superintendent Karen Trujillo's recommendation that the district's instruction remain online through the end of the semester.
"I want our kids back in buildings just as much as anybody else does," Dr. Trujillo said during Tuesday's meeting.
One exception will be special education students, who the board voted separately 4-1 to authorize bringing back to classrooms on a staggered basis. Pre-school students will also return on a phased basis this fall.
Trujillo explained the rationale behind keeping virtual learning.
"Let's say we had one positive case or two positive cases at a given school," said Trujillo. "That would mean that we would either have to close down that classroom or close down that wing of the school or potentially have to close down that whole school."
Not all parents agreed with the superintendent's view though.
“Online school is not working," said LCPS parent Diantha Talbot during Tuesday's meeting. "Ask the students, ask the good teachers, ask the parents. It is not working. The kids need to go back to school. Other states are doing it and they are fine. Why does New Mexico have to be last in everything?"