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Berkeley Parents Put Pressure on Schools to Reopen

Bay Area parents who are upset that their public schools have yet to reopen in-person classes are holding rallies in Oakland and Berkeley Saturday.

The demonstrations are the latest sign that even amid a severe surge of coronavirus cases, parents are starting to balk at the idea of prolonging time away from the classroom for their children.

In Berkeley, hundreds of parents have signed a petition to pressure the school district into reopening. Parents surveyed by the district are actually about evenly split over whether or not their public schools should bring students back in person, but those frustrated with the lack of progress on reopening campuses accuse the district of dragging its feet at the expense of kids.

“We have our doctors now saying the mental health of our children is being affected and these are long-term effects,” said Lei Levi, who has a first-grader in the district. “These are generational effects, that’s what I’m really concerned about. That’s why I started to stand up.”

The Berkeley Unified School District and the teachers’ union, the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, have already agreed on the complex health and safety protocols that need to be in place for reopening. But bargaining has just begun on how a hybrid model that accomodates both in-person and remote learning will work for teachers.

Read the full story here.

— Julia McEvoy (@juliamcevoy1)

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