LAGRANGE – A group of approximately 30 parents and students rallied near the entrance to Arlington High School on Sunday, asking for the schools to be reopened.
“Open Up Dutchess School Districts,” a Facebook group, co-founded by Anne Keating- Burger is seeking to have school districts, primarily the Arlington Central School District, open back up with students in the buildings. “We have seen firsthand the negative impact of virtual learning on our children and blame the state-imposed restrictions as they severely restrict our children’s chance at a viable education and social development. We also blame Arlington Central School Districts Board of Ed for failure to develop a plan in time that prioritizes children’s needs by focusing on strategies to safeguard in-person learning.”
Students in grades 6-12 in the Arlington district were supposed to return to the buildings on a limited basis, starting this week. The date has been pushed back until November, as written about here.
Claiming that children need socialization, Keating-Burget said “Remote learning is causing emotional stress on children and they are disengaging from learning more and more each day. Mental Health America sites state that playing with other children is as important to good mental health in children, yet children remain separated from one another in Arlington’s plan. The National Association for the Education of Young Children states social and emotional health affects children’s overall development and impacts their potential to lead a fulfilling life.”
The rally was held at a time when New York State is seeing a spike in positive tests for COVID-19 and the virus is now making its way through the White House.
Members of the group are currently in the early stages of planning a rally in Albany to appeal to state lawmakers.