FRANKFORT, Ky. — A group of parents and students rallied on the Capitol steps of Frankfort Tuesday, demanding that students be allowed back in classrooms.
This comes after many public school districts across the state have started the academic year with virtual classes, based on recommendations of health officials and the Governor’s office due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I miss the interaction with my friends,” says Avery Perkins, a 7th-grade student at Twenhofel Middle School in Kenton County.
Perkins along with dozens of others participated in Tuesday’s “Open our Schools, Let Them Learn,” peaceful protest. Perkins shared that she has not had a great back to school experience since starting the school year online.
“It was a rough few days. I kind of got used to it, but like, sometimes it's just like internet connections and you get logging off and then you get back on. And then you just don't know what's happening and stuff,” explains Perkins
Ava Hoskins also shared why she does not want to wait until the end of September to return to the classroom.
“It's hard for me to understand what they're saying the teachers on the Zoom calls because I’d rather be in school learning, it's easier for me to learn in school than on a computer,” says Hoskins
“And when I'm on Zoom calls, I don't understand what the teachers are trying to tell me and when I'm physically in-person with them, I understand more what I’m learning because I'm more of a physical learner,” adds Perkins
Kentucky State Representative Savannah Maddox says she was invited to attend Tuesday’s protest by some of the participants who live in her district and says it was important to stand with them and send a clear message to the governor that it’s time to reopen schools across the commonwealth.
“I feel like the greater priority should be to get children back into school because the farther apart that that learning gap gets, the more that it broadens, I think that we're going to have long term repercussions. In test scores and college attainment, later on in life. I think that it's really going to have a cumulative effect and we need to get kids back in school,” explains Maddox
The organizers of the ‘Open our Schools, Let Them Learn' group plan to host several more similar protests in the coming weeks in Frankfort.
Governor Andy Beshear called it a “tough but necessary recommendation,” to ask all Kentucky schools to postpone in-person learning until at least September 28.