‘Kids Are Not Thriving': San Ramon Parents Fed Up With Distance Learning

Parent-student sit-in planned at Berkeley school VP-elect Kamala Harris attended as a child

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Parents in a Contra Costa County school district are fed up, saying distance learning during the pandemic is not working. Not only do they want their children back in school, they want to oust school board members they think are standing in the way. 

A loud car caravan with parents and students honking their horns drove by in front of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District Office Tuesday night with a rallying cry that school and education are essential. 

“I haven’t been able to see my friends. I need support and I’m just not getting it online,” said student Sammie Eggren.

Not only do some parents want their children back in school, some want three school board members to be recalled.

“They are not fulfilling  their responsibility; they no longer represent our community. They should be recalled or resign,” said parent Christi Madrid.

Some parents are also alleging that the district violated the Brown Act, which gives the public the right to attend public meetings. The district says it’s not breaking the law, but wrestling with a pandemic.

On Wednesday, parents and students in Berkeley planned to conduct a sit-in at Thousand Oaks Elementary School to demand that schools reopen "as soon as public health officials deem them safe." Thousand Oaks is where Vice President-elect Kamala Harris attended school as a child.

COVID-19 infections in California are at an all time high. School districts have been told they have to come up with a comprehensive plan before they can reopen.

“While we’re in the purple tier we cannot open for the type of in person instruction that they’re looking for,” said Sarah Lopez of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.

According to state guidelines, California schools can not reopen until COVID-19 cases fall to 28 cases per 100-thousand people and that hasn’t happened yet.

“Kids are dying, kids are not thriving, kids need to be back in school,” said parent Wendy Luna. “Our kids are failing and this is Danville.”

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