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'Kids are miserable:' Northern Virginia parents rally to re-open schools in the fall

WJLA – Washington D.C. logo WJLA – Washington D.C. 3 days ago Justin Hinton, ABC7

All 12 school jurisdictions in the D.C. area have announced their intentions to start the 2020-2021 school year virtually, and not all parents are pleased with that decision.  

Vienna, Va. resident Jill Gartin rallied with other parents and students today at Arlington district headquarters to make their voices heard.

Gartin has two children in elementary school, a rising eighth-grader, a rising junior, and a rising senior.  

"It's been heck," Gartin says.  "It's been awful because I have five kids running on one wifi.  It's draining and the kids are miserable." 

That's why she, as a Fairfax County resident, rallied with others in Arlington, expressing their discontent for a virtual-only start to the school year.  

"I'm not saying everyone needs to go back to school," Gartin says.  "I'm saying those that can go back to school, they can go back to school five days a week and we can do it safely.  We need to let the teachers know we've got their back." 

Gartin and other parents wanted the passing cars to know how important it is to reopen schools after suffering through distance learning last spring.  

With their signs on display, rally-goers shared their experiences and encouraged one another to write stakeholders, to let them know what they want to see, especially since Arlington school leaders are still working on what school will look like after a few weeks of distance-learning in the fall.  

"We want to make sure everybody's safe, but making sure everybody's safe is understanding all the risks involved and the challenges we face, not just one," parent Chris Myers said.  

Both Arlington and Fairfax County schools are set to start completely online on September 8.  

For more back-to-school plans for other D.C. area jurisdictions, click here.  


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