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Delaware parents plan protest for all-in instruction, city leaders try to bridge community

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The day after Westerville City Schools transitioned its kids to full-time in-class instruction, parents in Delaware will make their own all-in demands Tuesday. They plan to protest against their school board’s lack to transition students back to the classroom five days a week.

“It’s at least several hundred at this point who tell me they don’t feel heard, can you step in, can you do something to intervene in the situation,” Councilwoman Lisa Keller told ABC 6/FOX 28.

“A lot of parents expected our schools to be back. All the other school districts have made plans to return. So, I think this decision has really caught them by surprise.”

The Delaware City Schools Board of Education discussed an all-in plan at its last meeting last week. Board members said they felt a shift in the learning model this late in the year would be too disruptive for most students.

Students now are in a hybrid model and attend class in person at least two days a week. Public comments had to be sent through email on the issue and were read to the board by a school district employee.

“The way that we make decisions is in collaboration with the people that we serve,” said Keller who has served on the city council for 12 years. “We are servants of the people. We don’t make decisions in a vacuum.”

Keller sent the school board an email last week which stated, “People who feel unheard threaten lawsuits and protests and petitions. It hurts my heart to think of our community battling and divided in that way.”

Keller asked the board to schedule a forum with parents so families can personally voice their concerns. At this point, the school board has yet to do so. Keller is advising her constituents to continue to advocate for their kids.

“We can solve all of this through sitting down and having a conversation,” she said. “It’s such a shame to have this happen in our community and see this type of division. I think the temperature could be turned down a lot.”

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