Activist groups like Open Schools California are rising up in the country's largest blue state, sharing a message that former President Donald Trump had stressed for the past year of the global coronavirus pandemic.
"All of us are isolated, frustrated, desperate and alone," Lei Levi told Politico. "Finding like-minded parents, I don't feel like I'm crazy and have to scream into my pillow every night and cry myself to sleep."
It is resonating even to Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is now echoing the calls to return to the classrooms – something that might ultimately be instrumental to getting the teachers unions to allow it.
Levi called the debate and pushback from unions a "political disillusionment."
“The values they think they're upholding are sometimes suppressing the voices that they say they want to uplift," Levi told Politico. "Down is up, up is down. Nothing makes sense, and it's really scary."
After all, the health experts have maintained to follow the science, and now they are saying the science says schools can reopen safely.
"There's a real concerted effort to always say 'safely' reopen and to always imply the science," Ernesto Falcon told Politico. "We know there is a contingent of people out there who think COVID isn't real and don't believe in masks, and they are wrong. We are really trying to distinguish us from them."
Even if schools finally open, the underserved communities are worried the resources like devices and Wi-Fi afforded them during the pandemic might disappear.
"We're left out of this conversation," Sacramento-based Black Parallel School Board Director Carl Pinkston told Politico. "No one has actually asked how Black and brown parents feel about this.
"Black parents do this differently from other parents," he said. "It's been a big rush to reopen, but we are deeply concerned what that reopening will mean and what kind of support our kids will have in terms of learning loss."
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