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Salt Lake parents to rally to ask schools to re-open

(1/29/20 Becky Bruce KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Parents who are upset that Salt Lake City schools will be “online learning only” if the city is still in the ‘orange’ stage when school starts this fall, plan to rally Wednesday night at the district offices. 

Salt Lake is the only district saying they will continue remote learning under the current color-coded risk assessment. Parent and teacher Glenna Lotouleilei suggest there should be a choice instead.

“If every other district can figure it out — you’ve seen it, Davis, Jordan, most of it is going to be in person — then why can’t we do that?” she asked. 

Salt Lake rally over orange phase guiding the decision

The district stated remote learning is the plan as long as Salt Lake is in the ‘orange’ phase. However, Lotouleilei said the survey sent out did not offer good options to choose from.

“If we have teachers who are willing to go to school, and have families who want their child to be in school, we should have that option. If we have parents who are not comfortable sending their child to school, and teachers who do not want to be in person, then they should have that option,” she said. 

Other school districts are giving the option to learn online but plan to be in-class with masks and physical distancing and/or shortened schedules.

Lotouleilei said she feels differently now than she did on the last day school before the lockdown, on March 13, 2020.

“If we take precautions that we need to take, then we can have those options and have parents make the choice for their child,” she said. 

Messages being sent around to parents and teachers about the rally are asking them to bring signs, wear masks, and to physically distance from each other.

The message states students need to have the choice to return in-person to school, while following CDC health and safety guidelines, in order to have:

  • Equal access to quality learning
  • Social interaction and athletics
  • Mental health and well-being 
  • Support for at-risk students 

There’s also a change.org petition gathering signatures asking for SLCSD to re-open.

Additionally, the message notes without this option, students and student-athletes will suffer compared to their peers in other school districts, and parents may pull their children out of the district to go to other schools.

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