DPS parents protest over decision to move some students back to online learning


People protesting outside DPS headquarters downtown on Oct. 30, 2020.

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DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Public Schools parents and students continue to express frustrations over the district’s decision to move some elementary students back to online learning as Denver’s COVID-19 numbers continue to rise.

DPS announced this week it would move third- through fifth-grade students back to remote learning through Thanksgiving. The move came as Denver was placed under stricter public health orders that encourage online learning. DPS says Early Childhood Education through second grade will continue full-time in-person learning.

“I think it’s our collective opinion that we’re prioritizing adults and penalizing the kids and it’s not fair,” said Tyler Carlson, a DPS parent.

Carlson was among the dozens of parents and students protesting the decision outside DPS headquarters Friday. 

“My daughter was crying when she found out she needs to go back to Zoom for eight hours a day,” said Carlson.

Carlson and other parents believe the public health policies are inconsistent.

“If I can still go to the gym and if I can go to a restaurant, then I’m going to fight to get my kids in school because it’s been too long and it’s affecting their mental health,” said Nisha Ashley, a DPS parent.

In a town hall meeting Friday night, parents were able to ask questions directly to district officials.

Superintendent Susana Cordova said they continue to see limited COVID-19 transmission in the schools and overall numbers are low in the DPS community.

District officials say the primary reason for shifting third- through fifth-graders to remote learning was to minimize disruptions in schools and help stop increasing spread of the virus in the community.

Parents are calling on the district to reverse its decision. They plan to hold other protests Monday. Some students also plan to not login to their online classes in an effort to show their frustration. 

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