‘No to remote’: some Gardner students protest against continuing virtual learning

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GARDNER, Kan. — Some high school students in the Gardner-Edgerton school district are upset over the school board’s decision not to resume in-person classes until January at the earliest.

Some students say online learning isn’t working for them and they want a choice to return to the classrooms.

Gardner Edgerton is one of many school districts around the metro staying with remote learning, as more COVID-19 patients are headed to hospitals and the infection rate continues climbing.

About 50 students upset by the decision stood outside district offices Thursday morning chanting: “No to remote!” As part of the protest, some students refused to log into their online classes Thursday.

Schools have not been identified as a major source of spread for the infection, and many believe the safeguards schools have in place make students safer in class than at home.

“The reason we are here is the choice,” said Quinton Johns, a high school senior. “We are being stripped away of our choice and our freedom to be in the classroom, where we want to be. You don’t ever hear that, do you? It’s the truth. We just want to be in the classroom with our friends to learn better.”

This event was organized by the senior class, who missed its junior prom. If they have to remain virtual for the entire academic year, they say that would be a horrible experience.

Neighboring schools are allowing students to return to the classroom, at least on a part time basis, which some students say is making matters worse.

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