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Bozeman parents, students and teachers protest trustee vote to remain in blended model until a later date

Trustees will decide on the metrics needed to return back to in-person
Posted at 9:11 AM, Sep 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 13:24:51-04

BOZEMAN — Not everyone is on board with the trustee's decision to continue the blended model until a later date. And parents, students and teachers wanted to make sure their voices were heard.

More than a hundred people gathered outside the Wilson School building to protest the trustee’s decision Monday night to prolong the transition into full-time in-person learning for Bozeman students.

Parents at the protest said families were struggling and hoped trustees would move quickly in getting students back in for more in-person learning.

“It’s important for their mental health. It’s important for their education. And it’s just important for our community to have our kids back in school with some sense of normalcy and routine,” said Chelsea Embry, a Bozeman parent of three.

At the meeting Monday night, parents urged trustees to listen to Bozeman students.

“It’s hard to learn, I mean I don’t understand what’s going on in math a lot of times. I don’t understand a lot of the chemistry. I don’t know. So it’s hard to just even learn,” said Grace, a Junior at Gallatin High School.

“Online is way harder. For teachers, for students. I’ve had a couple teachers tell me they don’t online either,” said Evan, a Freshman at Gallatin High School.

One trustee who voted in favor of setting target dates for transitioning back to in-person learning attended the protest to hear what students and parents were saying.

Trustee Douglas Fischer told students and parents the board was doing their best to keep the needs of everyone in mind.

“I would ask for grace and kindness as we all cope with a situation we’ve never imagined for. There’s a lot of competing needs in this community,” said Fischer.

“It’s a very urgent matter that the board is trying its best to deal with and we’ll get to a solution, it’s just going to take a little time.”

At the next school board meeting, trustees will decide on the metrics needed to return back to in-person.