'We want to go to school': Pennsylvania students rally for return of in-person learning, sports

Christie Ileto Image
Friday, August 14, 2020
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Students rallied in Delaware County on Thursday night for the return of in-person learning and school sports.

MEDIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Two dozen student-athletes rallied outside the Delaware County Courthouse in Media, Pennsylvania on Thursday for a return of in-school learning and sports.

"We want to go to school. We want to play sports, with the proper precautions obviously," said student Jeremy Lehmann.

Lehmann and many other athletes wanted to have their voices heard and be part of the conversation when it comes to school districts deciding whether students should start the school year online or in-person.

"I feel like a lot of decisions have been made for us, and we really haven't had a chance to voice our opinion," said Ryan Lain, a senior at Marple Newtown School District.

Lain is a D1 prospect whose senior football season is on the line. Many sports teams began practicing with social distancing measures once counties went into the green phase. Many students argue a safe plan to return to the classroom shouldn't be off the table.

The CDC recently reported that coronavirus cases among children jumped with more than 97,000 infections in the last two weeks of July nationwide.

READ MORE: 6-year-old boy being treated at CHOP for MIS-C after COVID-19 infection: Mother

One of those cases is a 6-year-old who is recovering at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

The uncertainty of how districts would handle a reopening was enough for parent Michelle Metz to switch schools.

"I had to. We pay high taxes for Garnet Valley, and now we have to pay for a private school, so just so he can get the education that he's entitled," said Metz.

Her 8-year-old son will start his third grade with in-class learning.

Lain was asked whether he was concerned about the risks of going back to school.

"Obviously we have to take some precautions, I think it's a risk we should take, and if there's a right way to do it, we should definitely do it," said Lain.