FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Parents are calling on the Cumberland County School Board to rescind its decision to continue virtual learning for the rest of the school year and opt to re-open schools instead.
Over 100 parents, students, and teachers rallied along Fort Bragg Road on Wednesday. Some parents feel they’ve been robbed of having a say in sending their kids back to school for face-to-face learning.
“I wanted to come and support the community and try and fight against the board of educators that chose to keep our kids from going to school,” said Eddie Grinie, who said his second-grade son is struggling with virtual learning. “We’re talking about a 7-year-old learning how to send emails, learning how to navigate against the ads and icons.”
Other parents say special needs and at-risk students aren’t getting the attention they need.
“My son is ADHD and he’s having trouble just keeping focus,” said Leigh M., who has two kids in Cumberland County Public Schools.
Several students spoke to the crowd and shared their struggles with online learning. One student said, “We need to go back to school because as a student, I can tell you what is happening is not working.”
“It doesn’t feel real in a sense; it feels like a fake school year. It’s really hard to go through my senior year of high school and apply to colleges when I don’t really know what’s going on,” said Lorelei Harr, a senior at Cape Fear High School.
With so much focus on preventing the spread of COVID-19, some parents worry the impact virtual learning is having on mental health isn’t being taken seriously.
Leigh M. added, “We’re military, so I have friends all over the country. Everybody I know has the option to go back on Monday-Tuesday, clean on Wednesday, and then another group goes back Thursday-Friday. That’s what I would like to see us do.”