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Protesters meet with St. Landry Parish School Superintendent

Posted at 6:53 PM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 20:09:19-04

Protesters in St. Landry Parish are demanding the School Board to stick with its original virtual learning plan in place before the board voted last week to move to its phase two plan.

For much of the day, students, parents and teachers protested in front of the St. Landry Parish School Board office.

Organizers have a list of 12 demands for the Superintendent and the board.

The group protested because they want transparency and answers from the school system. They say they're concerned about student safety and the health of others. Meanwhile, some say their kids will not go back to the classroom until COVID-19 is gone.

"Go ahead and let the current virtual program in place right now play our for the original nine weeks like it was intended to do. At that time, look at the numbers and go from there," said Mark Lazard II, a teacher at Opelousas Junior High.

Lazard believes the district made changes too fast and they need to go back to the drawing board to keep everyone safe.

"We're all about going back to school and we're all about kids receiving the same quality of education, but we have to do it in a safe manner," Lazard said.

Johanna Aggison is a junior and she believes the district needs to stay virtual.

"I know we're struggling with the internet situation, but we can work through that," Aggison said. "Y'all rather put our life in danger. All these parents out here are here to stand up for us and I'm going to stand up for the students."

Several hours into the protest, two organizers met with Superintendent Patrick Jenkins.

"We were thankful that he gave us the opportunity to listen and understand the frustrations of the parents and the children," said Jermaine Green.

He's a concerned parent of four and says the meeting went well. Green says they discussed safety, health concerns and how to make the current virtual academy work instead of moving to a different plan.

"He heard those arguments we put out and he will sit down with his team. We'll figure those things out and then he will meet with us on Tuesday," Green said.

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