Long Beach parents protest distance learning with 'Zoom Logout'

Parents in Long Beach are asking families to withdraw from distance learning on Oct. 5 to push the district to reopen its schools.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Earlier this month, parents protested at the Long Beach Unified School District Administration Building to urge the district to reopen schools.

Now, protesters are calling for, what they're calling, a 'Zoom Logout,' urging the district to reopen its schools.

"We just want our kids in front of a teacher, period. Not in front of a computer screen," said LBUSD parent and protest organizer Mike Gallo.

Originally, Long Beach Unified announced that online classes would resume until at least Oct. 5. Earlier this month, the district pushed that date back to Jan. 28, 2021.

"The Jan. 28th date is what really motivated us to get to this Oct. 5th no-show," Gallo said. "That's pretty much the bottom line."

Gallo, along with parent Dara Ree, co-organized the protest.

"The biggest problem we have as parents is the transparency. We are getting no communication, no information," Ree said.

Both parents, members of the Facebook group Reopen Long Beach Schools, noted that the protest is not directed towards teachers, but the Board of Education.

In response to the planned protest, LBUSD spokesperson Chris Eftychiou wrote to ABC7:

"We've appreciated the support of thousands of families as our students have started the fall semester online. We acknowledge the limitations of the virtual environment, but we encourage families to continue supporting their children's online learning until we can safely transition to in-person classrooms."

According to Governor Newsom'a new four-tier reopening framework, the county must be in the red tier for 14 consecutive days before schools can reopen.

"We completely understand that everyone has different life circumstances, different home circumstances, different environmental circumstances; we just ask that we're all given the option," Ree said.

"I'd like to do one, possibly Nov. 5, Dec. 5, all the way up until whenever they decide to make a change," Gallo said.

Ree and Gallo are not alone. A group called Reopen California Schools is calling for a statewide 'Zoom Blackout,' asking families to withdraw from distance learning from Sept. 28 through Oct. 2 to demand an end to online learning.

SEE MORE: Long Beach to allow most teachers to work from home

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