Dozens of parents, educators rally at NC governor's mansion to reopen schools

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- More than a hundred parents and educators lined outside the governor's mansion on Saturday calling for Gov. Cooper to attempt to reopen schools during the pandemic.

Passerbys honked as the group chanted "Open schools now!" along Blount Street -- across the street from the mansion.

"We are a group of parents and educators and citizens that are here because schools have been closed almost a year coming up in March," organizer Emily Kissee said.

Kissee brought her two kids to the rally; she and several others expressed their distaste by holding signs that read "I need school," "WCPSS reopen our schools our kids need it".

The group fueled by a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) -- echoed by Duke Health -- that said students have the ability to return to schools as long as students and staff strictly followed precautions such as wearing a mask, washing hands and waiting six-feet apart.

"The longer this goes on, you can tell it's not sustainable for [my son]. In the last couple of weeks especially you see that light that used to be there about getting up and going to school, it's just not here," said Christine Vance a Wake County mother.

ABC11 learned on Friday that a GOP lawmaker, Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga), said there are negotiations underway for a proposed bill that would require schools to reopen amidst the pandemic.

Democratic Sen. Jay Chaudhuri of Wake County signaled support for the bill if there are "guardrails" in place to preserve safety for students and teachers.


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