PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – It’s an argument we’ve seen time and again. During the pandemic, it’s parents versus educators. Only this time, parents are ready to sue to save their kids.
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“I kept hearing the same story from friends whose children had never had any sort of behavior or emotional issues before, really struggling,” said Brielle Kennington.
“One friend said she found her daughter in the fetal position in the closet,” said Kennington.
“Daily meltdowns, crying, headaches,” said Kennington.
For Kennington, all three of her children started showing signs of depression within months of going remote under the Flagstaff Unified School District’s distance program.
“One friend said she found her daughter in the fetal position in the closet. Another friend’s son has bald spots from him pulling his hair before Zoom calls,” said Kennington.
Along with 500 Flagstaff parents, she sent a letter to administrators, demanding the district return to in-person or consider a hybrid option. Their attorney Elliot Alford the district is unlawfully discriminating based on location.
“You have schools that are open in Phoenix with the same exact COVID numbers and schools that are closed in Flagstaff.”
The district, which has around 9,500 students, said they would also like to return to classes, but not when COVID-19 cases keep soaring. Officials sent us the following statement.
“The Flagstaff Unified School District has received a copy of the letter from Alford Law, and will continue to make decisions regarding a return to in-person learning based on health metrics to ensure the safety of students, families, team members. and the community. FUSD has adopted health benchmarks for the return to school, and unfortunately, the numbers in our community continue to rise far beyond these thresholds.
The Governing Board and District administration are closely monitoring the situation and reviews benchmarks and other health information received from State and County sources every month at their meetings. The goal in all these meetings is to plan for a reopening for in-person learning once it is safe to do so. So far, case trends have not indicated that reopening is safe.
Lastly, FUSD is fortunate that we have been able to navigate remote learning because of the support of the Flagstaff community. Each and every student receives an iPad as part of our community supported bond and override and over 800 hotspots have been issued to support remote learning – helping provide equitable access to educational resources. We could not have supported remote learning without this generous community support.”
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