Parents, students rally for in-person learning options outside Metro Nashville Board of Education

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NASHVILLE, Tenn (WKRN) — Starting Tuesday, restrictions loosen up for bars, restaurants, and ceremonies, like weddings and funerals, in Nashville.

But Metro Nashville Public Schools says they plan to keep most students at home until at least October 12th during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday night hundreds of students, parents, and coaches rallied outside Metro’s Board of Education, demanding an in-person learning option.

“I think forcing our healthy children to isolate at home and learn through a screen is far more damaging to them than this virus ever will be,” mother and nurse practitioner, Nicole Corey said.

Many families at Monday’s protest say they are fed up with online learning. Some held signs with messages like, “my eyes hurt” and “screen time rots your brain.”

Kids of all ages told News 2 at the rally that even with helpful teachers and administrators, this year is just not the same.

Percy Priest Elementary School fourth grader, Phoebe Stahl, says she misses the entire school experience.

“It’s kind of hard. It’s really complicated and I just want to go back to school because I want to see my friends and my teachers,” Stahl said.

Some parents are also upset that under Mayor Cooper’s latest modified orders, people can congregate in larger groups at restaurants and bars. The parents argue that if people can eat and drink in public, their children should be able to attend school in a classroom.

Dozens of student athletes also showed up to the protest to MNPS board members know they want to get back to competing.

“I really like found my love for football this year, and I really like want to proceed into college with football,” McGavok High School Student, Cedrick Westmoreland said.

Metro Schools said last week they will provide in-person learning options for the district’s students with special needs, beginning as early as September 9th.

After fall break, which ends October 12th, MNPS will decide if phasing students back into the classroom is feasible. They say they’ll start with the youngest students first.

For more details on their back-to-school plans and safety measures, click here.

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