VIDEO: Lawmakers Support Parents, Students Seeking Reopening of Schools
More than a hundred parents and students rallied in front of Legislative Hall early Monday evening to call for public schools to fully reopen.
Public classrooms have been disrupted since last March when traditional instruction was suspended over concerns of spreading COVID-19.
Supporters of giving all parents the option of returning their children to school note that the practical experience gained over the past year has demonstrated that schools can be safely operated. Many private and public schools elsewhere in the nation have returned to full classroom instruction without experiencing significant difficulty.
Delaware Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay has repeatedly stated that classroom settings, observing appropriate protocols, have not spread COVID-19.
State Reps. Ruth Briggs King, Shannon Morris, Steve Smyk, Rich Collins, and Charles Postles were at Monday’s event to voice their support. They say that too many students have done poorly in unstructured virtual learning. Many parents have also reported that their children have suffered from the social isolation, with some showing signs of depression and other mental illnesses.
While local school officials have purview over how to conduct classroom operations during the ongoing State of Emergency, lawmakers say those options have been severely limited by state rules restricting how many children can be transported on school buses. With most teachers and other educational workers having received at least one dose of the vaccine, and children demonstrating a high natural resistance to the virus, the five lawmakers say restrictions on transportation that are constraining school operations need to be reconsidered.