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Students plan walkouts across the US, protesting in-person classes amid omicron

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Students plan walkouts across the US, protesting in-person classes amid omicron

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Students across the United States are planning walkouts to protest in-person learning amid a nationwide spike in COVID-19 omicron cases.

More than 4,100 schools across the country were closed on Tuesday – a slight reduction from the more than 5,400 schools closed last week after winter recess, according to community events website Burbio, which tracks the closures schools in more than 5,000 American school districts. The closures are largely due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and the resulting staff shortages.

NEW YORK

In New York City, students at Brooklyn Technical High School made headlines Tuesday after videos posted to social media showed gangs of students leaving a school building in the middle of the day, protesting against learning by no one in the midst of an apparent lack of testing for students and staff, according to local reports.

“We don’t feel safe at school,” a Brooklyn Tech junior told the New York Post on Tuesday. “It’s about that simple. There are so many cases going around and we think more should be done.”

Sources told the Post that some teachers gave the green light for students to leave class while others said they could face disciplinary action if they did. Other students from Stuyvesant and Bronx Science also participated in walkouts, according to the outlet.

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Newly elected mayor Eric Adams insisted during a Friday press conference that the “safest place” for children is “at school” in response to a question from a reporter about walkouts.

Dr. Sara Bode, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on School Health, told Fox News Digital last week that she believes schools working to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 are among the safest places for children. now compared to places in their communities that do not have mitigation strategies in place.

A teacher gives a lesson to masked students in their classroom at Yung Wing School PS 124 on September 27, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano / Getty Images)

“Of course, it’s not zero risk of having children in school.… With this increase in transmissibility, we’ll likely see an increase in cases in schools, but it’s probably not a risk. higher than most other activities children participate in when they are not in school, ”she said.

BOSTON

The Boston Student Advisory Council, which is made up of elected student leaders from Boston Public School (BPS), is planning a walkout for Friday.

TEACHER UNIONS ACROSS COUNTRY CITE RISE IN COVID TO DEMAND A STOP IN PERSONAL LEARNING

A graphic posted on the council’s social media reads, “Walk with us to protect our students, families and teachers. The graph lists the following requests: two weeks of distance learning, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for teachers, COVID-19 tests for students and teachers, accessible catering stations, classrooms assigned class to improve contact tracing, excused absences and more.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who also argued that schools are the ‘best’ places for students amid COVID, announced on Tuesday that the state had placed an order for 26 million rapid antigen tests to be distributed over the next three months as a priority. to K-12 schools and other daycares

REDONDO BEACH, CALIFORNIA

On the opposite coast, students at Redondo Union High School (RUHS) in Redondo Beach, Calif., Also scheduled a walkout Wednesday to protest the in-person classes.

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“These guidelines are good, but what good is they if they are not followed? Michael Lee Chang, a student at Redondo Union High School, told FOX 11 Los Angeles. “The biggest clubs always meet indoors for lunch. You know, we are afraid. I currently see eight to 18 students absent from each of my classes. Most because they are out of COVID, but some because they ‘are uncomfortable dealing with the current problem of students who test positive for COVID or who have been exposed to it and who still attend school. “

Students plan walkouts across the US, protesting in-person classes amid omicron

 | News Today

Students in Redondo, Calif., Organize a walkout to protest in-person classes.
(FOX 11 Los Angeles)

RUHS told Fox News in a statement that “all concerns raised via social media, regarding COVID protocols and security, are directed directly to affected students.”

CHICAGO

In the Midwest, where the Chicago Public School System (CPS) made headlines amid negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) that ended on Tuesday, students are also planning a walkout on Friday.

OTHER MAJOR US UNIVERSITIES ANNOUNCE REMOTE START IN SPRING SEMESTER, Citing INCREASE IN COVID-19 CASES

“We demand that our voices are not only listened to or heard, but that the voice of our concerns be implemented within the structures”, one reads on a poster shared on social networks.

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The walkout comes after CPS and CTU reached an agreement earlier this week, allowing classes to resume for in-person learning on Wednesday. The deal, which received close approval from CTU members in a vote, will see schools revert to distance learning if 25% of staff are positive for COVID-19[female[feminine. It also ensures access to an increased number of tests and personal protective equipment and improves contact tracing measures in all public schools.

Ahead of the negotiations, union leaders demanded a return to distance learning until an agreement was reached or the COVID-19 cases had “substantially” subsided. The union, however, accused the CPS of excluding teachers from their online education platforms while negotiations were ongoing, so that a distance learning option was not possible.

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The White House and Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona have expressed support for keeping schools open.

The White House announced on Wednesday that a dedicated stream of 5 million rapid tests and 5 million laboratory PCR tests will be made available to schools from this month to alleviate supply shortages and promote reopening in safe schools.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Students plan walkouts across the US, protesting in-person classes amid omicron

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