Liberty parents, students rally to urge district to return to in-person learning

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LIBERTY, Mo. — Dozens of students and parents spent Wednesday afternoon near Liberty High School to send school leaders a message to reopen all schools for in-person learning. 

Right now, Liberty elementary schools are open for in-person learning. Secondary schools are on a hybrid model with two days in-person and three virtual. 

Some students said the days out of class make it harder to retain information. 

“Honestly, it was better when it was five days a week because people got more learning. I’m struggling in multiple subjects now,” sophomore Nathaniel Richmond said. 

In the latest message to parents, Superintendent Dr. M Jeremy Tucker said in part: “We are developing a plan that would allow for certain secondary students to receive in-person learning later this semester. We are also developing a plan that would allow all secondary students to attend in-person learning.” 

Parents at the rally said they’re becoming frustrated as they see surrounding areas reopen. 

“That’s the problem: All we get is talk, talk, talk, and we get the same story, so we’re ready for action,” parent Jason Richter said. “We see other communities like Platte County, Shawnee Mission Schools has a plan, we see Lee Summit has a plan.” 

Some parents worry the longer students are out of class the more they will fall behind. 

“My daughter struggles in high school, and my son is learning not much in middle school and he finishes in like two hours,” parent Rachel Richter said. “We have bars open here in Clay County with no hour restrictions, but we can’t have kids back in school, but it’s very much a mixed message.”

Parents at the rally hope to see more educators vaccinated to help get kids back to class. 

“They need to be prioritized. We need to push every way we can from a local and federal standpoint so we can get those vaccinations for our teachers,” Richter said. 

Liberty school officials said the reopening plan is based on guidance from local public health officials. FOX4 reached out to the Clay County Health Department about reopening Liberty Schools, but did not hear back.  

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