Parents Against Reopening Schools Erect Flags at District Offices in Portland
Parents gathered Sunday to try and convince the Portland school district not to reopen yet for in-person learning due to the coronavirus.
Those who attended the event said it was not a protest, but a memorial, according to KATU.
“They put nearly 500 red flags in the ground outside the Portland Public School’s administrative building, saying that each one represented an educator or child who died from coronavirus nationwide,” the article continued:
They said they were extremely surprised by the governor’s announcement last month for schools to begin taking steps to reopen in February. The decision was a big change from how the governor had been approaching the topic of education, allowing districts to decide when they want to open.
Portland Public Schools (PPS) officials told KATU they did not know about the event, but the district is monitoring the vaccine rollout in the state:
Spokesperson Karen Werstein says the district is looking forward to staff getting the vaccine in beginning of phase 1B – decided upon by the governor last week. PPS wants to make sure educators and school staff have access to vaccination before reopening. The district says there will be an update for families by mid-January about PPS’ progress towards reopening.
Meanwhile, the outlet said over the past year, it has heard from several organizations who support reopening schools.
“For some kids, staying at home is the right thing to do and that is working for them. We don’t want to take away that choice, we just feel an additional choice needs to be provided,” Jennifer Dale, organizer of ED-300, commented.
According to KGW 8, available data does not show where the teachers and students who died from the coronavirus contracted the disease.
However, some educators and parents still oppose reopening.
“We can recover from distance learning,” said Ami Fox, a teacher and parent. “These [flags] represent the fallen educators and students- they don’t get to come back from this, ever.”“I believe if districts cave it’s going to be a lot worse,” stated Ari Bubbett, who has a first-grader. “My kid can catch up but he can’t catch up if he catches coronavirus and dies.”