By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Kelly Vlach, a mother of three, wanted to advocate for schools to reopen, but couldn’t find the online support she needed.
That’s why she started the “Open Bend-La Pine Schools” Facebook page, which gained almost 1800 members in just a week and a half.
“There’s clearly a need for it,” Vlach said. “And parents have a lot to say on the issue.”
Some parents on the page hope a peaceful rally is necessary to make their voices heard. Vlach is helping to organize a Reopen Oregon Schools Rally and Strike on Monday.
“It’s the same day as the rally that’s being held in Salem and Medford and Portland, and all across the state,” Vlach said. “It’s kind of a united effort to hopefully get Kate Brown’s attention, and hopefully be able to talk to our state leaders and have a conversation about changing those metrics.”
Vlach says while her kids are handling distance learning well, she knows it’s not so easy for every student.
“Who I’m really fighting for are those that are special needs, have IEPs, where parents are getting most of their services through the public school system and those kids aren’t being serviced right now,” Vlach said.
Also Monday, some parents plan to take part in a state-wide student log out from online courses.
That protest is also an attempt to catch the attention of Governor Brown and the Oregon Department of Education.
“This is not working for our state,” Vlach said. “It’s not working for our community, and our kids deserve to be back in school.”
Central Oregon Daily reached out to Bend-La Pine Schools for comment and did not receive a response.
Monday’s rally is set for 4 p.m. in front of the Bend La-Pine School District office on Wall Street.