‘We need to go back to school’: San Juan Unified parents and students protest distance learning

Local News

ORANGEVALE, Calif. (KTXL) — Parents and students across the San Juan Unified School District fed up with distance learning took to the streets Tuesday.

“We’re trying to get our schools open,” said Keri Wanner, an Earl LeGette Elementary School parent.

“Parents and students and teachers are fed up with the process, and it’s not working. We understand why we all needed to do it at the very beginning, but at this point, we have the data to prove now that it is safe for teachers to come,” she continued. “The CDC has said that they don’t need vaccines to be able to come and teach and it’s time to get our kids back in school.”

It’s been almost a full year since students in the district stepped foot inside their classrooms, and Tuesday, they joined their parents outside several local schools.

The students didn’t just come out to protest — they brought their laptops and they did their distanced learning from the sidewalk on folding tables.

“We don’t like staring at a computer screen all day long and we miss our friends,” said Kamryn Russell, a third grader from Oakview Community Elementary School.

Kamryn said she has not met her teacher this year and some of her classmates are falling behind.

“It’s really hard because in class, you can just raise your hand, but sometimes kids don’t even get help from their parents and they have to figure it all out on their own and there could be a lot of missing assignments,” she said.

Those are big concerns for parents in the district as well, who said students are experiencing learning loss and mental fatigue.

“So, my oldest son actually has dyslexia. So for him to be able to learn on the computer, he has complete learning loss,” Wanner explained. “And it’s not just kids with IEPs or dyslexia, but kids all over the district who had perfect grades, have terrible grades now and have horrific learning loss.”

Now, parents, students and even some teachers are banding together and asking the district to reopen schools immediately.

“They’ve had excuses all along and they have chosen not to renegotiate with the union or follow the science to open,” Wanner said.

“We need to go back to school and you’re really hurting us,” Russell added.

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