SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A group of parents rallied in Mira Mesa Thursday morning to urge the San Diego Unified School District to reopen schools for in-person learning sooner rather than later.
Since March, the district has kept school doors shut, but officials recently announced plans to initiate Phase 2 of a return plan come January.
At Thursday’s rally, parents said that's not soon enough.
"Kids are depressed. We're trying to get them outside safe, but they need socialization and to be with friends. That's half of what they get out of school,” a parent said.
City Councilmember Chris Cate joined parents Thursday in support, adding, "Every day that passes is critical."
Cate said San Diego's climate could have easily played a part in welcome all students back to class by now.
"Outdoor learning, why are we not taking advantage of the climate we have here in San Diego? Yes, it's innovative and costly but ideas could be put forward when we know in fact, and have data that says, 'This is working' or 'this isn't working.’”
Even though the trend of rallies has made a difference for districts in Poway, Carlsbad, Del Mar and Vista, it came with a cost.
One week after Vista Unified welcomed students back into classrooms, five COVID-19 cases arose in their district, resulting in a lack of teachers to fill in and a quick move by the board to set new rules.
Some parents in Vista even thought twice about their decision to send kids back to class, including parent Timothy Hernandez.
"I think they need to re-evaluate their plan and I wouldn't bring them back until next summer. I know they had trouble with subs and that says a lot,” Hernandez said.
Yet parents like SUHSD dad Edward Ewing had opposing views.
"It seems like they're not putting the kids first, the psychological effect on kids are going to be felt for generations,” Ewing said.
Carlsbad is the latest district to announce an in-person learning hybrid program that includes some students returning as soon as Nov. 30.