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Connecticut parents petition for distance learning option as back to school approaches

With cases rising and the Delta variant becoming more prominent, they’re concerned for the safety of their children and family members who are at risk.

CONNECTICUT, USA — A group of Connecticut parents is petitioning the governor to require schools to offer distance learning options this year. 

With cases rising and the Delta variant becoming more prominent, they’re concerned for the safety of their children and family members who are at risk.

“One kid could infect the entire school,” Elpida Bauman said. “I’m very concerned about the Delta variant. I’m very concerned that it’s everybody going back that’s a lot of kids.”

Bauman, a mother of three in Danbury, is not alone in the push to get remote learning options as the start of the academic year approaches. She started a petition on Change.org asking Governor Lamont to require all Connecticut schools to offer distance learning, which now has more than 400 signatures.

“My husband and I are high risk. I’m a cancer survivor. He’s had a whole host of health issues. Neither one of us can get the vaccine because we have contraindications. We have a 5 and an 8-year-old. It’s terrifying,” she said. “Right now we need to be concerned about our children’s safety.”

We asked Governor Lamont to address concerns from parents at a news conference Wednesday.

“First of all, there’s nothing like in-person learning; we learned that last year. We kept our schools open for in-person learning more than any other state in the northeast and it made a big difference for our kids.”

Legislation signed into law in June allows local boards of education to authorize remote learning for high school students next year but not for the regular curriculum for grades K-8, so they aren’t required to offer a remote learning option this year. According to guidance from the Connecticut Department of Education, the state refocused efforts on in-person learning to ensure equity.

While Lamont is encouraging kids to come back to the classroom, he says there are other options.

“You can teach from home, learn from home. There’s homeschooling, we have a number of online modules that the state has paid for that’s available to you as a parent so you can teach your kid accordingly,” he said.

Some parents we spoke in West Hartford Wednesday afternoon are ready for the return to school.

“I feel comfortable. I don’t have any objections with kids coming into the classroom. I think it’s important for the development and I think they need the socialization and I think the procedures that the school systems are doing are working,” said Jameth Mikan, a parent, and teacher from Avon.

FOX61 reached out to the state’s Department of Education for further comment on the remote learning and has not heard back. 



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