Education

Parents rally in downtown Raleigh with one message: Reopen the state's public schools

Posted January 30, 2021 6:53 p.m. EST
Updated February 1, 2021 1:07 p.m. EST

— Hundreds of parents spent the day rallying in front of the Governor’s Mansion with one message in mind: reopen the state’s public schools.

The protestors spent about an hour asking Governor Roy Cooper to take bold action to help reopen schools for in-person learning.

Many say some school districts, like Wake County, haven’t come up with a reasonable plan to safely reopen schools. Protestors want to see the Cooper use the power of the pen to change that.

"I can go to Disney but I can't go to school? Isn't that sad? Shouldn't it be the reverse?"

These are questions that Katherine Harrison, parent of a first-grade daughter in Wake County Schools, asked on Saturday.

Students across the school district are all-remote until mid-February.

"My child doesn't sit at the computer so she is truthfully not doing well academically, because it is a battle to get on the computer," Harrison said.

Kristin Beller is president of the Wake County chapter of the North Carolina Association of Educators. The organization acts as a voice for educators.

"How do we create a safe learning condition for everyone and something that is stable? ... We don't want to do this in and out thing as conditions get worse or better," Beller said.

Parents like Harrison are confident current safety protocols are the answer.

"Masks are working," Harrison insisted. "My daughter and these children have no problem wearing a mask if that's what it takes to get out kids in school. Let's do it."

Protestors did invite Governor Cooper to come out and speak but he did not show up. According to the Governor’s office, the decision as to whether to reopen is up to local school districts.​

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