Some students in Boston walked out of class on Friday and called on Gov. Charlie Baker to bring back the option of remote learning as COVID-19 cases among students and staff soar.

The movement, led by the Boston Student Advisory Council, is demanding remote learning for two weeks and proper COVID-19 testing for teachers and students.

William Hu, a senior at Boston Latin School, is one of many pushing for the state to make the change.

“I have friends whose loved ones are immunocompromised, who live with their grandparents, who are at high risk of catching omicron and suffering,” he explained. “I kept on thinking, ‘Why are we making this the norm? Why are we continuously being forced to attend school in person when we have a much safer option?’”

Hu created an online petition that pushes for schools in Massachusetts to offer the option of remote learning. The petition had nearly 8,000 signatures as of Friday morning.

“Given the super spreadability of COVID, of omicron, we should be able to choose whether our students, ourselves should be put into an unsafe atmosphere,” he said.

Baker has been adamant about the fact that he believes the best place for students is in the classroom.

“We should be doing everything we can to make sure kids get that 180 days of in-person learning because it’s critically important not just to their educational development but to their development period,” he said.

Hu says he hopes the message from Friday’s walkout pushes state officials to reconsider their remote stance.

“Gov. Baker is right in some parts but he should most definitely allow us the option to choose and make a decision of what’s best for us, our loved ones, as well as our peers,” he said.

Some students also stayed home Friday in protest of Baker’s stance on learning.

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