Parents protest over schools staying hybrid

Two+students+participate+in+the+protest+on+March+9%2C+which+was+held+in+response+to+the+Board+of+Education%27s+decision+to+remain+in+a+hybrid+learning+model+for+the+rest+of+the+year.

Sophie Hance

Two students participate in the protest on March 9, which was held in response to the Board of Education’s decision to remain in a hybrid learning model for the rest of the year.

Sophie Hance, Editor-in-Chief

On March 8 and 9, a group of around twenty parents protested the Board of Education’s decision to keep schools on a hybrid schedule.
The school board made the decision on March 2 to stay hybrid, due to the difficulties of transitioning back to normal and limited time to do so, which created an upset in the community.
Parents left comments on the live stream of the meeting of their concerns, which led to a member of a Delaware mom’s Facebook group making a petition and eventually planning a protest.
“We have at this point accepted that they’re not going to go back this year,” said Kellie Young, the creator of the petition. “But we have yet to receive any assurance that they will go back in the fall.”
Parents at the protest explain that they are upset with the lack of response and explanation from the board and feel as if they are being ignored.
“I think they are doing this out of their own personal feelings for Covid-19,” Young said, “and they are not considering the best interests of the entire district that they’re serving.”
Along with the concerns from parents, there are also concerns from students at the protest.
“I don’t like being in front of a computer. I like to be doing things,” said CJ Young, a third-grader from Schultz Elementary School.
During online days, some teachers are having their students do online homework on programs like Flex and Lexia instead of being instructed by the teachers themselves.
“I don’t feel like I’m learning enough and I’m not learning well,” fifth-grader Olivia Arena said.
Parents at the protest said that their children aren’t retaining the information they are being taught in school. Additionally, they said the hybrid model has been tough on their children’s mental health.
“Every day [my son] has a meltdown. He’s sad, he cries constantly because he just wants to be in school, he wants to see his friends,” Young said. “He’s an in-person kid and he needs that structure, and he’s not getting it.”
Even with disagreement between some community members and the board of education, they all have a common concern: the students’ wellbeing. However, many of the students they’re fighting for find themselves feeling misrepresented.“I think [students] should have a say in this because we’re learning this stuff,” Arena said. “We want to have a good experience at school.”
The protest ended peacefully after an hour, getting a lot of support from passing cars that honked their horns.
Protesters were pleased with the response and felt as if their concerns were being heard.
“If all of these other districts can go back and they found solutions, I don’t know why Delaware can’t either,” Young said.

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