▶️ Parents, students rally for a return to the classroom despite COVID metrics

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By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY

On Monday, more than 100 parents and kids lined up along Bond Street, hoping to get the attention of Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Department of Education.

Rally organizers say they want COVID metrics to be lowered in order to get kids back in the classroom sooner rather than later.

Jon Haffner is a single father who says learning from home has taken a toll on his 6th grade daughter, Jackie.

“I’m almost at the point now where I don’t want to hear about any more metrics,” Haffner said. “I want it to be open.”

Kennley Morgan, a 6th grader at Cascade Middle School, says this year has been difficult for her.

“It’s kind of hard for me to pay attention when I’m at home because of all the distractions,” Morgan said. “If I’m at school and I have a teacher there helping me it’s way easier.”

Some want metrics to be lowered, others just wanting to be given a choice.

Candice Anderson, a mother of three, had to quit her job to oversee her kids learning from home.

“The teachers who want to be in the classroom should be allowed to be in the classroom,” Anderson said. “Families that want to be in the classroom should be allowed to.”

Melissa Barnes Dholakia, Bend-La Pine School Board vice chair, says while she supports the rally, the school board has no choice but to abide by state metrics.

“If, at some point in time, the scientific community says the metrics are too strict and wants to lessen them, then that’s when I will follow,” Dholakia said.

As of Monday, Deschutes County has once again failed to meet COVID metrics.

The earliest students will now be able to return to in-person, hybrid learning is November 2nd.

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