Students and their parents who want Fairfax County, Virginia, public schools to return to full-time in-person learning spoke out during a school board meeting Thursday.
Some Fairfax County Public Schools students became emotional as they pleaded for a return to in-person learning five days per week.
“Our mental health struggles are compounded by the fact that our peers who attend private school are thriving, attending school five days a week safely,” one female student said.
“You can’t put a price tag on the damage that distance teaching has caused. Previously honor roll students, star athletes and passionate artists are now severely depressed,” said one mother.
- Sign up for WTOP alerts
- Latest coronavirus test results in DC, Maryland and Virginia
- Coronavirus vaccine FAQ: What you need to know
- Latest vaccination numbers in DC, Maryland and Virginia
- ‘You’re going to be unstoppable’: Md. school counselors provide support to students during pandemic
- COVID-19 vaccines obtained for Capitol Police employees
The school board voted unanimously to approve the latest draft plan for a return to in-school learning on Tuesday. It calls for all students to attend in-person classes twice per week by mid-March.
But the Fairfax Education Association said that timeline doesn’t allow all county schools staff who want to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to receive both doses before returning to the classroom.
“Vaccination is not a silver bullet and we are not all there yet with full protection,” said Fairfax Education Association President Kimberly Adams.
The school system said 90% of staffers have requested or scheduled their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the school district is working to ensure staffers get their second doses in the next few weeks