BOSTON (WHDH) - Thousands of students have signed a petition calling for Governor Charlie Baker to bring back the option for remote learning and on Friday, students are planning to participate in a city-wide walkout.
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 said that what he has seen at Boston Latin combined with the ongoing surge across the state, are the reasons he created the online petition. By Thursday night, more than 7,500 people had signed on.
“And 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.
As the petition continues to gain followers, the Boston Student Advisory Council is planning a walkout on Friday that will feature speeches from students, teachers, nurses, and families.
The council’s demands include the return of remote learning for two weeks, proper PPE for teachers, and testing for students and staff. They are also calling on the governor to allow online learning to be considered an official school day.
This is something Baker has consistently been against.
“Our view is we should be doing everything we can to make sure kids get that 180 days of in-person learning cause it’s critically important not just to their educational development but to their development period,” he said.
Hu said he will not be participating in Friday’s walkout because he has COVID safety concerns and does not agree with all the demands being made by the BSAC. Still, he does hope it helps get the message to the governor and Department of Education.
“Governor Baker is right in some parts. But he should most definitely allow us to choose and make a decision of what’s best for us, our loved ones and our peers,” said Hu.
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