San Diego Unified School District

‘We Want Choice, Hear Our Voice' — Parents Frustration Boils Over Virtual Learning

Parents and students rallied outside of San Diego Unified School District Headquarters calling for immediate reopening plan

Parents and students rally outside of San Diego Unified School District Education Center

For at least the fourth time in the last several weeks, parents are holding rallies imploring local school districts throughout the county to allow their children to return to in-classroom learning.

“I have two teenage daughters, both of which have taken turns sharing with their friends, phone calls, tears, trying to console each other through those tears,” said a parent who did not want to be identified. "And these are well-adjusted, very good students. They just want back in the classroom."

She was one of dozens who showed up Tuesday afternoon outside of the San Diego Unified School District Education Center in University Heights.

The rally was organized by the group Reopen SDUSD, which said the district is dragging its feet on a reopening plan that helps get all students back in class. The rally happened on the same day that San Diego Unified began Phase 1 of its reopening plan by opening Lafayette Elementary for limited use for special educations students.

But parents at the rally said the district is not committing to a specific plan or timeline to reopen for all students. The group also said it wants to see a presentation of the science the district is using to keep schools closed.

“There is no plan in place, there is no Phase 2 to be found, so we're asking that the board and the district office put together a plan for our students to get back to the classroom,” said Gina Smith with Reopen SDUSD.

In an email to NBC 7, a district representative said “on Aug. 10, the district released a report with the reopening guidelines that called for a gradual reopening of in-person instruction to be launched in phases. The guidelines developed with UCSD are on the schools website.”

“The district has been working to make schools and offices safe for students and staff, with trainings and some $45 million in PPE and other safety equipment," ” district spokeswoman Maureen Magee said in the email. "Under the district’s plan, schools will reopen once it is safe and based on science."

Meanwhile, there is also support for the school district. A group calling itself Concerned San Diego Unified Parents had planned a counter protest at Tuesday’s rally but later reconsidered.

“I think our district is doing right by our community at large by following science and doing it slowly,” said Dawnielle Carlock Stewart with Concerned San Diego Unified Parents.

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