More Alabama students returning to class despite virus worry

Thousands of Alabama students who’ve spent the coronavirus pandemic in virtual classrooms are returning to traditional instruction despite safety concerns and continuing school shutdowns linked to COVID-19.

Schools in Jefferson County began allowing elementary students to return to class full-time on Monday, and additional systems that have offered only online classes or a mix of online and traditional learning will reopen buildings on a full-time basis through next week.

Walter Gonsoulin, the Jefferson County superintendent, said the system planned to stay open unless there is a state or national mandate requiring a shutdown.

“We have mixed emotions,” Gonsoulin told WBRC-TV. “Of course, everyone is still aware that we are living in the middle of a pandemic, so people just want to make sure that we stay on top of the health guidelines.”

As public schools reopened Tuesday in Montgomery, a group of teachers and school workers who contend

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Alabama student pitching her business in nationwide competition

With so many young people today (and more than a few older people), their self-image is tied up in their social media presence.

How they appear to their friends and followers on Instagram matters more than how they feel about themselves.

Emily Butler wants to change that, and she’s turned that goal into a business.

Butler, who just graduated from Trinitas Classical Academy, a Christian home-school co-op in Killen, is the founder of “More Than The Reel,” an online clothes seller with a positive spin.

More Than The Reel’s motto is “Inspiring people to live for more than the highlight reel of social media.”

Its products include the “Conversation Starter Crewneck,” which simply has the word “More” on the front.

“The statement is just enough to make people ask the question “What does your shirt mean?” says the description on Butler’s website. “We believe that conversations change minds, and changed

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