Local lawmaker pushes to lower the social distancing mandate inside the classroom

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(WIVB) – Local lawmakers are joining the push to have students across the state in the classroom five days a week.

“We need to get our kids back in the classroom,” Assemblyman David DiPietro said.

During a news conference Friday, DiPietro (R,C,I- East Aurora) introduced legislation to repeal Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order that mandates students have to be 6 feet apart while inside the classroom.

“Parents and teachers alike across rural and suburban New York are eager and ready to safely return to in-person instruction, but because of the 6-foot rule they have been unable to do so,” said DiPietro “Not allowing schools to interact and teach students in person is having negative consequences on the educational development and mental health of our students.”

The bill would guarantee the state Legislature the right to terminate, modify or amend any executive order or specific provision or directive of an executive order. The aim of DiPietro’s bill is to reopen New York schools 100% and put an end to the detrimental consequences students are facing due to social isolation.

“At six feet to three feet in the classroom, we can open up schools. Every school will have the opportunity to open up 100 percent,” DiPietro said.

Government leaders in favor of this change say remote instruction is causing students to fall behind.

“I have Wyoming county, at least a third of my county doesn’t have WiFi,” DiPietro said. “How can we do remote learning? It’s been a real struggle just to get the internet into the home.”

“I have 4 kids in the house, and it is a struggle to see how they are just not getting the education that’s required,” Erie County Legislator Frank Todaro said. “I would appreciate and request that the majority assembly members take this bill, take it seriously and move it on.”

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