NEW YORK - Parents and students marched to City Hall on Thursday morning to deliver a petition and send a message.

“We represent more than 12,000 New York City parents,” said one petitioner. "We are demanding that schools open now."

This came after Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced a return to all-remote learning because of an increase in coronavirus cases.

What You Need To Know

  • Dozens of parents and students gathered outside City Hall to urge Mayor de Blasio to keep schools open

  • This came after a return to all-remote learning was announced Wednesday

  • Those rallying say they believe schools have been safe for their children

These public school parents said the threshold for a shutdown, a seven-day positivity rate of at least 3% in New York City, is arbitrary. They believe the schools have been safe for their children.

“Parents want a seat at the table. We are sick of sitting on the sidelines while three or four people sit in the proverbial smoke-filled room and decide whether our children can go to school tomorrow," said Daniela Jampel, a parent and organizer of the rally.

A main problem highlighted in the petition is that working families, and especially working moms, rely on schools to be open. And for the students, particularly the younger ones, remote learning can be challenging.

“We have adapted to going into school only two days a week with like six people, and we don’t want to go back to online school because we know how frustrating it is and how hard it is to concentrate," said 3rd grader Amalie McNally.

Another concern for these protesters: 60,000 students who still don’t have reliable access to computers or WiFi.

“Despite the Herculean efforts of our teachers and administrators, remote learning is failing our children, remote learning is hurting our children, remote learning is increasing the achievement gap between wealthier, predominately white students and poorer students, predominantly of color," parent Doug Schneider said.

After delivering the petition to City Hall, the group made their way to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office in Midtown.


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