The group called on D.C. school officials to amend their policy instating a required six-feet of physical distancing recommended under federal guidelines, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could soon ease social distancing guidelines to just three feet, sources told Fox News earlier this week.
“It’s not feasible in Washington, D.C.,” one protester said of the guideline. “It’s being used…as an excuse to keep our schools closed,” the demonstrator added, pointing to recommendations made by the World Health Organization that roughly a meter distance in between individuals is enough to lower the risk of infection.
D.C. schools have reopened to about 20 percent capacity, but are limited by the city’s 11 person class sizes and federal social distancing guidelines, reported the Washington Post.
Students also took center stage Saturday, telling crowds about their struggle to learn virtually and challenges posed by never having met their teachers in person.
Coronavirus cases in the nation’s capital have dropped from their all their all-time high in December, reportedly prompting parents in more affluent public schools to push for students returning to the classroom.
But schools in more impoverished areas are under-enrolled and lack adequate staffing to return to in-person teaching, reported the Post.
The twitter account for Washington D.C.’s Black Lives Matter chapter criticized the parents and kids asking to return for in-person learning, suggesting they had superior access to healthcare.
“Hmmm… so… where do these kids go to school? They must have great access to medical care just in case and transportation,” the group wrote.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced last week that school staff, including teachers who are not currently in the classroom, are now able to register for the vaccine.
Bowser said that 3,000 of D.C.’s teachers have already been vaccinated, but school officials have said the real hurdle in reopening in-person teaching, is convincing enough teachers to volunteer to head back to the classroom, reported the Post.
“I don’t want anybody to think that D.C. teachers haven’t been vaccinated,” Bowser said last week to local radio station WTOP News. “There are teachers who are working at home and will work at home for the rest of the year. Then there are others who are working at home now who will come in. We actually think the group of teachers who remains to be vaccinated is not that large.”