Hundreds attend back-to-school rally held in Naperville

Chicago News

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — A large crowd gathered at Rotary Hill in Naperville Monday evening to rally for a return to in-person learning.

Parents and students from many of the surrounding areas attended the rally, which follows smaller rallies held recently in Chicago, Wheaton, Barrington and Crystal Lake.

One parent said the last few months have been very tough on her family, with unclear communication on a final decision from the school district.

“I just think kids need a plan. They like to know what they’re doing and have a plan,” Kelly Ridges said.

While Ridges said a return to in-person learning is what her family wants, these rallies serve as a chance to advocate for students to have the choice on whether to return or not.

For many students, staying at home from school also means missing out on fall sports, as other surrounding states have resumed action.

Today, Minnesota announced fall football and volleyball can resume, after a decision had previously been made to postpone the two sports until spring.

A social worker that attended the rally said he has seen more kids come in for anxiety treatment, and that many kids are starting to feel hopeless.

“In our practice alone, we have about 30 percent more kids this year compared to this time last year,” social worker Adam Russo said.

During the pandemic, the DuPage County Coroner has reported a 22.7 percent increase in suicides over the first six months of this year compared to last.

54 people in DuPage County died by suicide between January 1 to June 30, none were under the age of 18.

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