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Photo Of 5-Year-Old Crying Over Distance Learning Goes Viral

Distance learning is hard for everyone.

Jana Coombs

Jana Coombs, a mom of four from Coweta County, Georgia, shared a photo that has gone viral on the internet. The photo, of her 5-year-old son, sitting at a computer and crying while doing distance learning, has made waves on the internet. The photo for many shows just how hard distance learning is on kids of all ages, and shows how much school isn’t just about learning numbers or letters or science, but also about seeing friends. 

Apparently, according to Coombs, during an online lesson, he got so frustrated while struggling to keep up with distance learning that he put his head down, cried, and wiped his tears using his t-shirt. The mom took a photo of the moment, just before her son came over for a hug and a good cry.

“I just took that picture because I wanted people to see reality,” she told a local news station, WXIA. And, in an interview with CNN, she said, “Education is essential for these children, and it’s more than one plus one equals two. Socialization and hands-on experience is how elementary kids learn best.”

For Coombs, the problem isn’t just about how her kid is struggling. It’s also about moms and dads across the country. “Juggling a household, having an infant in the house, getting 5,000 emails a day from all their teachers, trying to keep up… different apps, different codes, different platforms, some links don’t work,” Coombs said. 

Coombs is right that this situation is hard on everyone: teachers, parents, and kids. COVID-19 has disrupted nearly all of normal life and made much of what made sense in the before times impossible. It’s hard for everyone.