Riverside educators rally for remote learning ahead of board meeting

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RIVERSIDE, Ill. — Teachers in suburban Riverside are protesting for their safety and asking for remote learning.

Class is expected to begin Monday and teachers are expected to return to work in two days. The Riverside Brookfield Education Association started their rally Tuesday afternoon ahead of a 7 p.m. board meeting.

The group is calling for the school district to put safety first in response to the pandemic. Organizers of the rally say the district is pushing for a hybrid learning plan that includes outsourcing remote learning to outside company Apex. 

Educators told the district they don’t want the hybrid plan in place. Hybrid learning would allow kids to learn partially in the classroom and at home. Many teachers feel its putting their safety at risk. But some say they like the idea of having a hybrid educational experience. Both sides of the argument were heard at the meeting.

“I believe that combination with providing options while to minimize risk is the best practice approach in managing though the current pandemic,” one parent said.

Riverside Brookfield Township District officials listened to teachers, parents and students as they gave their opinion about a planned hybrid learning model for students in the district.

“I’m shocked actually cause the vast majority of cook county have gone full remote so I don’t understand why Riverside Brookfield is willing to risk the lives of not just their own students but their own community,” Beth Sloan said.

Those at the rally said they are scared that allowing kids back into the classroom will result in their families, student and themselves getting sick.

“Care about the safety and health of the students. Their families. The staff in the community around us. Make the right decision and then let’s get ready to move on and figure out how to educate these kids,” Marty Sloan, president-elect of the RBEA, said.

Teachers, parents and students spoke during the public comment portion of the Board of Education meeting.

“Our black and Latino students are vulnerable and more at risk for contracting the corona virus if they walk into this building next week,” one teacher said. 

Many are holding out hope that the superintendent will change the current plan in place 

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