Salt Lake City parents want fulltime classes


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – About 200 parents and students gathered in front of the Salt Lake City School District demanding schools be reopened next month.

The group says Salt Lake City classrooms are essential and provide structure for students.

“There are kids that rely on the school for so many services that this remote learning puts our most at-risk kids in more risk,” said parent Mary Catherine Perry.

Working families say they can’t allow young students to stay at home and seniors may miss out on sports or academic scholarships with the current proposal.

“We all want the Salt Lake City School District and the board to come back with a plan that involves in classroom learning,” said Perry. “But we certainly don’t want to risk anybody. We don’t want to risk teachers, we don’t want to risk students, but we can all work together to make this happen and I think we are on our way.”

“The program they put together which is one day a week for Group A, one day for Group B, one day for C, one for D, and it is just not going to work,” said Precinct 2 Board Member Michael Nemelka who joined the rally.

“I’m with these people,” he said. “I think we as school board members need to teach them.”

Nemelka says if schools don’t go full time, students won’t be able to play sports against other districts.

“We need to be in school; we need to have a classroom; and so I say for the parents if you want your kids to go to school, send them to school, and those of you who don’t want your children to go to school, let us teach them at home,” he adds.

The district says it’s a delicate balance of educating children and keeping everyone healthy while they are there.

Yándary Chatwin a Spokeswoman for Salt Lake City School District tells ABC4 News, “Unfortunately we are not in a place with the pandemic where we are able to do that, which is why we are implementing the plans we are. We need to maintain social distance, we need to encourage our students to wear masks while they are at school, and that’s what is going to help us turn to normal more quickly.”

There is still time for parents to have their voices heard, all they have to do is contact the Salt Lake City School District before they have their final vote by the end of the month.

Jason Nguyen
Jason Nguyen is an award-winning reporter and photojournalist who is back with ABC4 News as the lead reporter on Good Morning Utah, bringing over a decade of news experience to the team.
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