EASTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The Easthampton School Committee voted to suspend all in-person learning, Mayor Nicole LaChapelle confirmed Tuesday night.

In a vote 4-3, the school will revert to full remote learning.

"First and foremost, we are in a state of emergency," she said. "Consequences to families and students who don't get in-person learning is grave, but first and foremost, we are in a state of emergency on a state and local level, and public health is paramount."

Only special populations and kindergarten students were attending in-person classes at Easthampton High School as part of a phased-in approach.

There was a plan to bring grade 1 students back on November 19, but recent health metrics have thrown it out the window.

She said public health experts out of the city and school were strongly recommending the suspension of in-person learning.

The School Committee is expected to review the health metrics again in early December.

"This is a public safety decision that supersedes education, which is very important," she said. "If we look back on this time -- if I look back on my decisions as mayor, let me make it very personal -- and it looks like I overreacted or was too conservative, that's the best outcome."

Copyright 2020.  Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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