Parents and students hold rally downtown calling for schools to fully reopen


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– In Western New York, parents and students held a rally demanding that all students have access to in-person learning.

Organizers hope this gets their message across to state and school district leaders.

Parents who were out in front of the Rath Building today say this is not about partially opening schools, or having certain grade levels in the buildings, they want every student to have the option to be in the classroom.

Dozens of parents and their kids participated in today’s rally to fully reopen schools.

Parents spoke about their frustrations and concerns about not having their kids learn in school.

One high school student argued that if malls and restaurants are open, schools should be open too and she should be allowed in class.

The ‘Western New York Students First’ organized this rally.

Organizers say they believe the right thing to do is for district leaders to develop a strategy to make this happen.

“Really it’s about sending a message to engage leaders that we’re here and this is what we’re seeing and to leaders who feel like they need support, we’re here to say we are a group of parents who understand the seriousness of COVID but also understand the seriousness that comes from a lack of education and mental health issues.”

Jonathan Rich, Member of WNY Students First

The group Western New York Students First says they are talking to other schools and districts in the state that have fully reopened to find out how those places are doing it safely and replicate that.

The group is also calling on the Erie County Department of Health to work with the state to create a plan to fully reopen schools.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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