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Video: Peaceful Protest Held regarding ISD 166 Distance Learning Announcement, attracts regional media

Aug 19, 2020 05:50PM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

Photos by Boreal Community Media

From Boreal Community Media - August 19, 2020

A peaceful protest was held at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 19th, beginning at Artist Point parking lot and making the way through town.  WDIO and KBJR were also on site to interview and record this event.  

According to an email sent to the news listserv Wednesday afternoon, "Peaceful protest in support of our children going back to School!  Meet: Wednesday @ 5 PM at the Artist Point Parking Lot.  Please come and walk with us through town as we show our support for our CHILDREN that want to go to school and belong in school. The majority has not been heard and we need to be! Bring signs and show the love!!! We are stronger together!  Everyone welcome."

Approximately 30 children and adults participated, led by a group of young children chanting, "We want school" in response to the decision by the Cook County ISD 166 School Board's decision last week to start the school year with distance learning.  To view that video, follow this link:

Emily Ness of WDIO-TV was also on scene and filed the following report:

Students and their families marched through Grand Marais Wednesday in support of an in person learning model. The peaceful protest was organized by parents after the Cook County School Board voted to adopt a distance learning model for the fall.

Stephanie Radloff, a Grand Marais mother of two said she felt compelled to help organize the march after seeing her children’s reactions to news that their school had adopted a distance learning model.

“To see their faces and how disappointed they were is really what motivated me to try and spread the word,” Radloff said. “I am a concerned citizen who really feels strongly about having our kids in school.”

Grand Marais community members march in favor of in person learning model

Photo: WDIO-TV

Parents at the peaceful protest expressed concerns about their children falling behind and missing their peers in a distance learning model.

Additionally, parents said they worried about working while their children learned from home and about wifi being weak in some areas of the county.

Students at the peaceful protest echoed these concerns.

Grete Youngdahl, a 7th grader said that distance learning this past spring was difficult because she missed socializing with peers.

“I just feel like in school is a lot better than distance cause I need to be in contact with actual people and I don’t like staring at a computer screen,” Youngdahl said.

Ty Mielke, a 4th grader said he would prefer to go back to school in person so he could do fun projects again.

“I like seeing my friends and we do these projects at school that are fun and we can’t do them because of distance learning,” Mielke said.

School Principal Megan Myers said in a statement that the school board held two special meetings to hear from public health professionals, the Teacher’s Union and the school administration before voting on the distance learning model.

But, Radloff said the community’s voices are not being heard.

“I honestly feel like the majority of families voices were not heard by the school board and so I feel like the best way to get the word out is visually so people can see,” Radloff said.

Radloff said she and other parents hope the school board will reconsider their decision about distance learning and instead, do an in-person or hybrid learning model.

To see the original WDIO-TV report, follow this link.
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