Parents organize rally for more schooling options

MEDFORD, Or.- Jackson County hasn’t met the state’s required metrics to return to in-person learning in schools.

The county’s Covid-19 numbers are simply still too high. That has some parents demanding change.

NBC5 News spoke with one local mom who’s now organizing a rally to create change.

Some Oregon parents want more options for their kid’s education including returning to the classroom. They say decisions about in-person learning should occur at the local level, not in Salem.

“With masks, with social distancing, with plexiglass, but we need more contact with the youth,” Julie Brooksby told NBC5 News.

Some Oregon parents are organizing rallies for more learning options for their students, including going back to school.

Medford mom Julie Brooksby says online distance learning isn’t working as many counties, like Jackson County, haven’t met the state’s Covid metrics to reopen classrooms.

“We just want more options. We want to be able to give children, teens, and teachers more options,” Brooksby said.

Counties must have 10 or fewer cases per 100-thousand people over seven days and also a test positivity rate of 5% or less.

Over the past four days Jackson County has averaged 23 cases per 100,000 people.

Medford School District Superintendent Bret Champion told us earlier this month that he wants to see kids back in the classroom but safety is paramount.

“This is not an ideal situation. We want to get to green and get into our buildings because its where we do education best. We’re only interested in educating kids in the safest possible place,” Champion said.

When a friend mentioned organizing a rally for change in Salem, Brooskby felt compelled to do the same in Medford.

She calls herself lucky: she can stay home and help her kids. But she knows other parents don’t have that luxury.

“What if I weren’t here to deal with this? I don’t even know what they would do. I feel for those women and men that have that experience in their home and they cannot be there,” said Brooksby.

Brooksby says she doesn’t want to come off as critical of teachers and administrators. She just wants the decision to reopen schools made locally, not in Salem.

“I really feel like it should be given to the superintendents to decide when their areas are ready to open up.”

Rallies are being organized right now including in Klamath Falls, Salem, and Bend. One is also planned at the Jackson County courthouse from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday.

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