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Teachers protest outside Capitol urging Kansas to follow CDC guidelines

Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 5:10 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - An hour before Gov. Laura Kelly's news conference, around 30 teachers, parents and concerned citizens gathered outside the capitol to protest reopening schools in the fall.

Hannah Allison joined a group at the Kansas statehouse urging Education Commissioner Randy Watson and Gov. Kelly to follow all CDC guidelines for re-opening schools in the fall.

Allison said, “They’re playing politics with our lives.”

Allison is a paraeducator in Lawrence Public Schools.

“I love my job, I love being with young people, and I know that we have to wait to go back into buildings until they are safe and there are so many ways that we can support our young people by keeping them safe, by keeping us safe and staying out of school buildings,” said Allison. “Instead what’s happening right now, is leaders like Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Secretary of Education, and Randy Watson, our Commissioner of Education, they’re not centering our students and fighting for our schools the students deserve,” said Allison.

If schools can’t implement rules to keep classrooms safe, then this group wants districts to invest in robust and inclusive virtual learning for all students.

“This is an opportunity to completely re-imagine what we think about learning, right?”

Allison said teachers have a right to protest and a reason to do so.

“I am absolutely scared to go back into the classroom.”

“One of the most important things I believe as an educator is that the people closest to the problems are the people closest to the solutions.”

The group moved inside during the governor’s news conference and cheered when the governor finished her announcement, delaying the start of the year to after Labor Day.

But they also still want districts to continue exploring online options.

Copyright 2020 WIBW. All rights reserved.

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