Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Fresno Unified Parents Plan Rally to Protest Closed Schools: 'We Should Have A Choice'
gvw_nancy_price
By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 4 years ago on
September 1, 2020

Share

Fresno Unified parents are planning to rally Thursday afternoon to protest what they say is the district’s failure to fight for their right to choose whether their kids are in class or on distance learning.

The rally is scheduled to run from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and will be on the northeast corner of Palm and Herndon avenues.

Bullard area parent Catherine Peters, who is helping to organize the event, said Tuesday that parents are frustrated that district leaders like Superintendent Bob Nelson have not done more to stand up for parents and students and lobby to have schools reopened.

“Why aren’t they fighting for what students want?” said Peters, whose daughters attend Baird Middle School and Bullard High School.

Fresno Unified officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Distance Learning Continues during Pandemic

Schools have been closed since March 13 to contain the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus. Most Valley students started the school year on distance learning due to state restrictions issued in July because of increasing infection rates in the region, including Fresno County.

The state mandate requires schools to remain closed until infection rates lower sufficiently.

Peters said students can’t afford to wait that long. They’ve already been out of school nearly six months, leading some to suffer from anxiety, loneliness, and even suicidal thoughts.

“I just want people to realize it doesn’t have to be this way,” she said. “We should have a choice.”

Those students and teachers who aren’t ready to return to the classroom should have the option of remaining with distance learning, while those who are ready to go back to school should be able to do so, she said.

Parent Groups Form on Facebook

Peters said the rally is the joint effort of two parent groups on Facebook, the Fed Up Parents of FUSD group, which was created on July 28 and has eight members, and Open the Schools California, which was created on July 13 and has 370 members.

“I do want to make it clear, we’re not out to bash teachers. Some don’t want to return yet, and that’s fine.” — Fresno Unified parent Catherine Peters

The rally is scheduled to run from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and will be on the northeast corner of Palm and Herndon avenues.

All who support the reopening of schools are welcome, including teachers, Peters said.

“I do want to make it clear, we’re not out to bash teachers,” she said. “Some don’t want to return yet, and that’s fine.”

Fresno Unified trustee Terry Slatic, who represents the Bullard High area, and Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld, a vociferous supporter of reopening schools, have been invited to attend the rally, she said.

Bredefeld: Give Parents A Choice

Bredefeld said he continues to question the health information that Gov. Gavin Newsom and state and local public health officials cite in support of keeping schools closed.

Portrait of Garry Bredefeld

Virtual learning widens the educational achievement gap between affluent and low-income families. — Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld

He said he gets phone calls daily from parents who say their children are hurting because they’re not back in school yet. Virtual learning also widens the educational achievement gap between affluent and low-income families, Bredefeld said.

He agrees with Peters that children and adults who need to remain home to protect themselves from the virus should do so, but those who want to resume their school days, workdays, and other activities should be able to.

As for whether teachers and children would be sufficiently safe if they return now to the classroom, Bredefeld said, “If we have enough ingenuity to send astronauts to the Space Station and bring them back safely, we have enough ingenuity to keep our kids safe.”

DON'T MISS

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

DON'T MISS

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

DON'T MISS

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

DON'T MISS

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

DON'T MISS

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

DON'T MISS

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

DON'T MISS

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

DON'T MISS

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

DON'T MISS

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

DON'T MISS

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

UP NEXT

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

UP NEXT

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

Barbara Corcoran: 1% Interest Rate Drop Will Send Housing Prices ‘Through the Roof’

UP NEXT

Juror Dismissed From Trump Hush Money Trial. Prosecutors Seek to Hold Former President in Contempt

UP NEXT

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

UP NEXT

Local Leaders Must Put Their Shoulders Into Making Fresno ‘Education City USA’

UP NEXT

EdSource Welcomes Fresno News Veteran Jim Boren to Its Board

UP NEXT

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

5 hours ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

16 hours ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

17 hours ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

18 hours ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

19 hours ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

19 hours ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

19 hours ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

20 hours ago

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

20 hours ago

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

22 hours ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

You might have noticed that the tangy taste of pickles has taken over more than just the condiment aisle. From pickle-flavored popcorn to pi...

4 hours ago

4 hours ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

4 hours ago

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

4 hours ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

5 hours ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

16 hours ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

17 hours ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

18 hours ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

19 hours ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend