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LAUSD Prepares To Reopen

VENICE, CA – Parents and teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District are in disagreement on how to reopen schools. While Governor Newsom reached a deal recently allowing schools to reopen, teachers’ unions want to wait until more people are vaccinated.

Photo, Muhammad Asad Khokhar

Some districts like the Long Beach Unified School District have already started the vaccination process. The rate at which vaccines are distributed varies county to county.

Venice High School teacher Brandy Peacock thinks it’s time to reopen schools.

“Schools should be ready. It’s been a year now and I think all safety protocols should have been met by now,” said Peacock.

Newsom first introduced his proposal on Dec. 30 to re-open schools upon the low risks of transmitting the coronavirus through in-person instruction, especially for elementary grades, if paired with rigorous safety protocols. Scientists with the Centers for Disease Control also came out with research explaining transmission through in-class instruction. Newsom’s staff said in legislative hearings this month that the plan’s deadlines were based on a sense of urgency and the high stakes behind a school year that could end entirely remotely for the majority of California’s 6.1 million students.

Many teachers believe the online learning experience is not as productive as it should be, thus they are ready to be back in schools. However, a number of students believe vaccinations should be mandatory before re-opening schools.

Aoun Haidery is a ninth grader at Culver City High School. He says safety is more important than attending school in person.

“I don’t think schools should re-open as vaccines are not that kind of popular right now,” said Haidery.

LAUSD is the second largest school district in the country. While smaller districts are in transition to open safely, LAUSD wants complete vaccination before reopening.

Many parents in this district want school to re-open as well. Julia Ron a mother of two sons says, “we should open safely with a lot of space between the children in classrooms.”

Since COVID-19 infection rates remain high, LAUSD wants to verify vaccinations before sending students and teachers back to schools. Meanwhile, the talks between the state government and unions are still on-going to ensure safety protocols.

Video, Muhammad Asad Khokhar

By Muhammad Asad Khokhar with contributions by Cal Matters

Photo, Muhammad Asad Khokhar

Video, Muhammad Asad Khokhar


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