LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Jefferson County Public Schools are still closed to in-person learning, but several parents are hoping to change that.
Several JCPS parents held a “Let Them Learn” rally outside Van Hoose Education Center Tuesday, in an attempt to send a message to the district school board. Almost two dozens parents stood shoulder-to-shoulder holding signs and sharing their stories.
Almost a year later, the stories still resonate with Jenifour Jones, a small business owner and a mother of two JCPS elementary school students.
“It is devastating for these kids,” Jones said.
She told WAVE 3 News the past 12 months have ruined her children’s love for learning and have crippled her family.
“The family dynamic, for myself, and for any other mom I’ve spoken to whose children are in JCPS, it has been a complete catastrophe and a breakdown of her families,” she said.
Other parents feel similarly.
Alyson Cleyman said her family is struggling, too. The single mom of two had to quit her job to help her children, one of them with autism, through Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI).
She knows other parents may not agree to return to the classroom, which is why she wants the school board to give parents the ability to choose for themselves.
”You should have a right to choose your kids being in in-person education or home, whichever is safer for them,” Cleyman said.
The group’s demands come as COVID-19 cases continue to fall across the state and one day after JCPS offered a tour of both Gutermuth Elementary School and Central High Magnet Career Academy to show how JCPS schools would function once they reopen to in-person classes.
All that is left is a JCPS Board of Education vote to allow students to return, which is something they have yet to do.
The parents present at the rally said the longer families wait for that vote, the more their children suffer, spending yet another day learning from home.
“You have to fight for your own children,” Cleyman said. “So, if you don’t speak up, nothing will happen.”
The JCPS Board of Education is scheduled to vote on whether to reopen schools on Thursday.