Parents rally for return to in-person learning as group sues N.J. district

Parents rally for return to in-person learning as group sues N.J. district

Ten-year-old Peter Kaplan took the microphone and fired up the crowd of more than 100 fellow students and parents from the South Orange-Maplewood School District. “We’ve got to keep on going, because if we don’t now we’re going to lose,” said Peter, a 5th grader at Seth Boyden Elementary School in Maplewood, addressing the crowd from the steps of the town’s municipal building at dinnertime on Monday. “And we can’t accept the defeat from the district, who are just bullying us the whole way, and that’s just not right.” Hollering, he added, “I say open the frickin’ school!” The speech drew cheers from the crowd, which had gathered in the slushy snow outside the seat of local government to call on Maplewood’s mayor and council to join their fight to reopen schools for in-person learning despite coronavirus safety concerns that have led the teachers’ union to keep its members from returning to classrooms. The situation in South Orange-Maplewood is not unlike one involving Montclair’s public schools, another Essex County district where many school parents are now demanding a return to …
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