TOWSON, Md. — Frustrated parents and supporters gathered Wednesday at Patriot Plaza in Towson pushing for teachers and students to return to the classroom. Currently, the school system is operating through virtual learning until January 29, 2021.
Parents told WMAR 2 News they want a choice as to whether they should send their kids back to the classroom or continue with virtual learning.
"I will take anything at this point," said Amy Adams. "I just know my children aren’t thriving with the virtual platform. So, if it’s one day, two days a week, five days a week, I would take anything."
Adams has three children enrolled in the school system. She said she wants an option for in-person learning ahead of January 29, 2021.
During the rally numerous speakers took to the microphone including current students.
“We think kids like us should go back to school, it’s not fair for us to not get a choice,” one kid said.
“I just really want to bring back school,” another said.
“Every day I get headaches about four hours in,” another kid added.
Parents, grandparents, local leaders, and kids said virtual learning isn't a good substitute for in-person learning.
Superintendent Dr. Darryl Williams originally planned to bring back special ed students next month. The plan was to bring back scheduled staff and students at four special-education schools. However, the teacher's union pushed back citing medical safety needs and CDC health data for the county.
Teachers Association of Baltimore County President Cindy Sexton said many teachers want to return, but others have underlying conditions or concerns that students won’t keep their masks on and that the schools are not properly ventilated.
Right now the plan for hybrid learning remains unclear.
In a statement to WMAR-2 News, Baltimore County Public School system along with Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams said in a statement, health and safety of the school community remains the number one priority.
“The health and safety of the BCPS community is our top priority. As we continue navigating through a global pandemic, we are relying on our health partners to advise us so we can make the best decisions we can for students and staff,” the statement read.
BCPS spokesperson Brandon Oland told WMAR there is a plan to move to a hybrid model of learning by the end of the second semester, hoping semester three and four can allow for hybrid instruction.
To view Baltimore County Public Schools' current re-opening plan click here.