As more schools across the region reopen for in-person instruction, a group of San Diego Unified School District parents has gotten together to sign a petition to urge schools to only open when it is safe to do so based on science.
The petition on change.org has gotten almost 700 signatures so far. The group, which calls itself Concerned SDUSD Parents, says science suggests that children can be "efficient" coronavirus spreaders and that is why they want to make sure schools only open up when it is safe.
Some of the parents who signed the petition say they're happy SDUSD listened to a panel of public health experts from UCSD in August. Those experts made recommendations to the school district about how to reopen schools safely.
"We think by playing that long game, being more careful and thoughtful and slow, especially as we’re walking into flu season, will play bigger dividends in the end," said Lisa Delano-Wood, a, SDUSD parent.
The recommendations include not reopening schools until the county has a positive test rate of less than 8%. San Diego Unified School District is in Phase One of its reopening plan, which means special education students who are not meeting their goals can return to school for in-person instruction.
"I feel like it doesn't hit home until people die in their family or they get sick themselves," said Lianne Urada, a San Diego Unified parent. "There are so many stories that say, if I had taken it more seriously then this wouldn’t have happened."
Other parents worry about students going back to school, spreading the virus and then having to go back home to quarantine again.
"That’s disruptive of their learning environment. It's also incredibly concerning when it comes to our children and their mental state," said Dawniel Carlock-Stewart, an SDUSD parent.
Many parents, however, have expressed frustration that the schools are not opening up for more in person instruction and say their kids are struggling with distance learning.
The panel of UCSD experts also recommends that SDUSD schools not reopen unless there are less than seven outbreaks over a 7 day period in our region and more than 20% of staffed ICU beds are available in our hospitals.
To learn more about the panel's recommendations, click here.