Chandler, Gilbert School District Parents, Educators Rally Against In-Person Classes

By Rocio Hernandez
Published: Monday, January 4, 2021 - 5:42pm

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Chandler Car Rally
Rocio Hernandez/KJZZ
Rachael Clawson helped organized a car parade Jan. 4, 2021, against in-person classes planned for Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, at the Chandler and Gilbert school districts. They are asking their governing board to reconsider.

Parents and educators of the Chandler and Gilbert school districts organized car rallies Monday in protest of in-person classes despite current state recommendation for virtual learning for schools in all counties given the high rates of COVID-19 infection and hospitalizations. 

The group is concerned that the districts are putting students’ and employees’ health at risk by planning to hold in-person classes on Tuesday as the pandemic continues to rage on in the state.

Chandler Car Rally
Rocio Hernandez/KJZZ
Parents and educators held car rallies Jan. 4, 2021, to urge Chandler and Gilbert school districts to shift to virtual learning when students return to school from winter break on Jan 5, 2021.

“We need the governing boards to know, we need district administration to know, we need Governor Ducey to know that we need someone to step up and lead," said Rachael Clawson, one of the Chandler event's organizers. "If they won't then we will."

Patti Serrano attended the Chandler rally in support her son and niece, students in the district, and her sister who teaches at the district.

“It’s very personal in the sense of us having my sister being put at risk when I know she didn’t take the Hippocratic oath that our frontline workers, god bless them, electively sign when they become first line workers," Serrano said.  

Kim Updegraff, a parent of Gilbert students, is worried about what that will mean not only for her children but also for district employees. 

“COVID is another form of a health disparity and not everyone is equally at risk so it concerns me for the people who have larger risk at a time when it’s so prevalent in our community and our hospitals are virtually at capacity," Updegraff said. 

Governing boards for the Chandler and Gilbert school districts are meeting Monday evening to discuss their learning models moving forward.

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