Los Angeles parents hold ‘Zoom Blackout’ to protest school closings

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) parents staged a “Zoom blackout” Monday in an attempt to pressure the district to reopen schools for in-person learning amid the CCP virus pandemic.

The effort, which began Monday, was organized as part of a separate protest in the district with the help of mother Cynthia Rojas, who told « Fox & Friends » that she feels « there is a great urgency for our children to return. to school ». . «

A flyer promoting the blackout effort was posted on social media last week, and parents were encouraged not to sign up for their Zoom classes starting February 22 and to continue « for as long as necessary. »

Instead, he suggested that parents take their children for a walk as part of a larger protest in front of the federal building on Wilshire Blvd.

« Enough is enough! We can no longer sit back and wait for UTLA to come up with more excuses to keep our schools closed, ”the flyer read.

Despite pressure from some parents to reopen schools in the district, the district’s teachers union has argued that teachers and school staff should be vaccinated against COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus ( Chinese Communist Party), before reopening in person. learning.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said in its guide that schools can safely reopen without teachers being vaccinated if proper precautions are taken, pointing to research suggesting that schools that have already resumed learning in person have not seen a corresponding large amount. increase in COVID-19 cases in their areas. President Joe Biden has urged states to prioritize teachers for COVID-19 vaccines.

In other parts of the county, some schools are reopening to teach students through sixth grade. Separately, starting next week, other schools will reopen for some services for a small number of students with special needs.

Supt. Austin Beutner has previously mentioned a reopening date of « no later than April 9, » given that the county has adequate access to COVID-19 vaccines.

« In anticipation of a more complete reopening of schools in April, we will begin next week to offer child care, individualized and small group instruction, services for students with special needs and a return to athletic conditioning, » announced Beutner. Monday.

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Rojas said parents are increasingly frustrated that they « don’t have a seat at the table » when it comes to negotiations between LAUSD and United Teachers Los Angeles.

«[W]We have been testing standard calls, voicemails and emails, but it doesn’t work, ”he added. « So I’m part of a group of parents who are really frustrated. »

Rojas told the Los Angeles Times that her five-year-old daughter had trouble taking kindergarten classes online with Coeur d’Alene Avenue Elementary School in Venice.

« My daughter did Zoom for a week, » said Rojas. « And after 20 minutes every day, she started crying. »

One LAUSD student told FOX 11 that it has been difficult to stay focused and motivated by taking Zoom classes every day.

“What I want to do today is get everyone to go back to school, not just me, but also the young children because I feel that it is more difficult for them than for me,” said the student.

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Nearly 50,000 deaths from COVID-19 have been recorded in California and more than 3.5 million cases in total.

CDC officials previously released a summary of recent studies looking at the effect of reopening schools on the transmission of COVID-19.

Research both inside and outside the United States shows « little evidence that schools have contributed significantly to the increase in community transmission, » they said.