Some Montgomery County parents fed up with virtual school

ABINGTON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- There are a lot of parents in Montgomery County who are frustrated with virtual learning.

On Monday, parents in the Upper Merion School District gathered for a protest, saying they want their children back in the classroom.

Parents in Abington held a similar protest last week.

The DeVito family participated in Strike Out Day, a family fun day joined by close family friends in the same boat, fed up with all virtual schooling.

"Today we're taking the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air. Taking the opportunity for the parents and giving students a chance to have a mental-health break because it's definitely much needed after six weeks of online school," Stephanie DeVito said.

Parents also protested outside Abington School District Headquarters last Thursday. They say they are upset with the proposal for a hybrid model with 2 in-person days with 2.5 hours each day. The parents want two full days with 8 hours of learning.

"It's not just for our families that are here, it's for single-parent families, our most disadvantaged families...we have a diverse district and I know that it's a real challenge psychologically, emotionally to the children who maybe don't have someone there to be one-on-one," DeVito said.

"That we don't have to be stressed by school because we're trying to learn and it might be glitching out a lot and then we can't hear them when we're trying to do a page," second-grader Ralphie DeVito said.

"The computer keeps on glitching and I just don't know what to do...and my computer's really glitchy," Kennedy Kyle said.

Meanwhile, parents in Upper Merion want action immediately for full in-person school.

"What we were given is no timeline, a phased approach and a majority of the parents have spoken that they're ready for their kids to go back to brick and mortar," parent Andrew Kagan said.

On Monday, Abington School District released a statement saying in part, "The Abington School District administration has received many correspondences expressing various opinions regarding our instructional models as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our area. We have met with various parent/guardian groups representing multiple sides, and will continue to develop our educational program and health and safety plan."
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