KSD students petition to keep learning from home

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Students in the Kennewick School District have received nearly 400 signatures on their petition calling for online learning to continue.

Sofia Torres, a junior at Kennewick High, said she and some of her peers created the petition as a pandemic-safe way of having their voices heard.

The petition “calls upon the KSD board of directors to delay the opening of schools until vaccinations are widespread and the rate of transmission drops to below 5 percent,” citing coronavirus health concerns.

“This isn’t just about teachers and students, this is about everybody that works in schools,” Torres said. “Whether that’s nutrition services, or custodians or paraeducators, KSD does not have the positions to accommodate high risk staff.”

Torres said she understands people wanting to return due to mental health concerns, adding that the remote learning adjustment is “incredibly hard.”

RELATED: Richland Middle and High Schoolers return to in-person learning in January

“Every single peer I’ve talked to says they miss school, they miss the social contact, they miss the academic aspect of it,” Torres said.

However, students, teachers and the community deserve to learn without fear for their health, Torres added. While her goal is to return to school, it’s not worth the risk of endangering someone’s life.

“Staying home is what needs to be done to minimize the risk of transmission,” Torres said. “Ultimately, we can’t risk having our peers and our teachers and any other people that we live with fall sick.”

According to KSD’s coronavirus report card, there have been 211 total reported cases since September 2020.

The KSD board is hosting a virtual meeting Wednesday, Jan. 13th at 5:30 p.m. to discuss reopening plans.

RELATED: Kennewick School District Board votes to bring middle and high school students back for hybrid learning