Updated: August 03, 2020 09:23 PM
Created: August 03, 2020 05:10 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester Organization of Rank and File Educators held a rally Monday to demand public schools use distance learning until it is safe to return for everyone.
Advocates rallied on the 490 overpass at Cobbs Hill Park, off Culver Road, stating their concerns the plans being floated around to reopen schools won't do it safely enough.
They are calling for very slow, phased reopening of schools. They are also saying school systems seem too eager to reopen.
Members of Rochester's three school collective bargaining units are also raising the alarms.
They have sent a letter saying schools should not open until it's safe, meaning until there are zero new coronavirus cases for at least two weeks.
They say they have seen some plans floating around but they're afraid they won't be enough. And won't be adequately supported to keep teachers and students safe.
“I know we're supposed to receive COVID money, but we have over 40 schools in the district, 3,000 teachers, and a lot of other educators and we have a lot of students and we just don't believe that the phasing open that they're planning is really going to work," RCSD teacher Meagan Harris said.
Parents groups also turned out to counter-protest.
They say some families may not want to go back to school in person but that they should have the option of going back.
"The majority of parents in every district would like to see the schools open in one way or another.. physically open, so again many parents support the virtual option but I don't think its fair for this group to suggest schools shouldn't open," Christina Higley, founder of Roc for Educational Freedom said.
Police say about 30 people participated in the protest from 4:330 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and there were no incidents or arrests.
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