Parents gather to protest Edmond Public Schools’ blended-learning plan

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EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) — A group of Edmond Public Schools parents and students protested the district’s current blended-learning plan outside the administration building on Wednesday morning.

“Five days a week, no masks. Five days a week, no masks,” a group of Edmond parents and students chanted outside the Edmond Public Schools administration building Wednesday morning.

The group was protesting the district’s current blended-learning plan, hoping to get back to the classroom full time and mask-free.

“They’re depressed because they’re at home and they cry daily because they want to be in school with their friends,” Theresa Epperly, an Edmond Public Schools parent, told KFOR.

“It’s just not healthy for a healthy child to be going to school and have to wear these masks,” Leslee Rahbar, also an Edmond PS parent, said.

Edmond is currently on an A/B scheduled, with students going to school in-person twice a week and learning virtually the other three days.

Masks are required for most students.

“I think that computers don’t teach me better than regular school,” Caeson Marron, a 3rd grade student, said.

“Majority of my friends are in the A group, but I’m on the B group,” Ethan Dennis, a 7th grade student, told KFOR.

Other Edmond parents reacted to the protest on social media. One dad wrote on Twitter, “For the record, my kids are in Edmond schools and I’d prefer they be entirely virtual. While the two days in-person instruction do provide a brief reprieve, they also inject considerable anxiety. No great solution, though – the virtual learning is also a poor substitute.”

Edmond Public Schools sent KFOR this statement on Wednesday morning:

“Moving from the current A/B schedule to five days a week in school will require conversations with the Board of Education and affirmative Board action. The district and board members will not consider fully reopening schools until Oklahoma County drops back into the yellow or ‘low risk phase and shows a persistent descending trend in virus transmission. The district remains engaged in ongoing discussions with board members and various committees about how and when to safely reopen five days a week.”

Susan Parks-Schlepp, Public Information Officer/Director of Community Engagement

“We’ve sent plenty of emails, you know, to the administrators and things like that, and, of course, nothing is happening,” Epperly said.

There is currently a petition on Change.org to return Edmond to a five-day, in-person schedule that is nearing 2,000 signatures.

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