Updated: September 21, 2020 10:14 PM
Created: September 21, 2020 04:29 PM
FARMINGTON, N.M. — Families in Farmington rallied at the Animas Valley Mall Monday to protest the governor’s restrictions on in-person learning.
A petition was passed around during the rally to collect signatures and stories from parents who believe all schools should reopen. Organizers plan to send the petition to local and state officials as well as the New Mexico Public Education Department.
"Right now learning just through a computer screen is not great for a lot of the students,” said Grady Williams, a parent and rally organizer. “There are some that are doing great and you know that’s what we want to see but it’s not the same for everybody."
Williams, who is a father of three, said his high school and two middle school-aged children are struggling with online learning and not being able to socialize with others. He and his wife are also struggling to properly teach them.
While some school districts in the state have been approved to use a hybrid model of learning, the PED denied Farmington Municipal Schools’ hybrid model request just days before it was supposed to go into effect.
"We have submitted a received return to learn plan to the New Mexico Public Education Department,” said Gene Schmidt, superintendent of Farmington Municipal Schools. “We know that it is on the desk of Secretary Ryan Stewart. We know that we have a meeting with him tomorrow to discuss our plan. It is similar to a plan we submitted before. We're calling this our third attempt to return to learn.”
District officials hope to have some pre kindergarten through fifth grade students back in the classroom by Oct. 13.
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