Parents Call For Remote Learning Option For Mass. Students Not Yet Eligible To Be Vaccinated

CBS Boston
CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — With an increase in pediatric COVID-19 cases nationally, some parents in Massachusetts are calling for the Department of Early and Secondary Education to tell local school districts to, once again, allow a remote learning option.

The parents spoke out during a virtual news conference held by the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance.

“This literally scares the hell out of me. I’m not ready to send my kid, basically,” said Priyanka Rajoria, a parent of two kids from Quincy. “I’m not ready yet to send my kids completely defenseless when they have no vaccine against this virus.”

Rajoria said both of her kids are too young to get vaccinated and the family lives with her elderly parents.

“I hope somebody pays heed to us and I already lost a few family members because of the covid so I am really scared about my son this time,” Rajoria said.

Rehoboth mother, Kate Cherepowich, also voiced concerns during the press conference. She said she is choosing to home-school her 8-year-old son because of the low vaccination rate in her area.

“Our population is about 49 percent vaccinated which is not high enough for me and we don’t have enough of the safety measures in place that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends,” she said.

The Department of Early and Secondary Education or DESE says that remote learning continues to be an option for children who have health issues and have a letter from a doctor.

Seven school districts have also applied for and set up their own virtual schools for this year. Those districts are Attleboro, Brockton, Chelsea, Peabody, Pittsfield, Springfield and Westfield.

Asked about remote learning on Monday, Governor Charlie Baker said in-person learning should be the priority.

“One thing we all learned last year was that remote learning for many, many kids here in the Commonwealth did not work and there’s lot of evidence that in person learning does,” Baker said.

Some parents say they plan to attend Tuesday’s Board of Elementary and Secondary meeting to continue pushing for remote learning.

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I hope they win. I doubt the school and the state wants to lose over $6,000 per kid to take them out of school, it also costs money to get it to get her to do virtual… Let’s see if these people have rights to protect their children. God bless


I drop off and pick up my 11 yr old grandson at school several times a week and pray he doesn't come down with covid19. He wears a fresh mask everyday (takes extras with him), but there are 21 students in his classroom and when they go out to recess they are allowed to remove their masks. We now have more than 2000 school closings across the country because of covid19! When do we get serious about protecting these vulnerable students? We need remote learning at least as an option!

Angel Chambers

I've been asking for r remote learning. since school started we constantly receive updates on staff & students testing positive for COVID-19. Almost 1 a day and that's just at my child's school. I refuse to send him. The school cannot protect him. No social distancing. He's autistic and can't take his mask off to even eat or sip water. His stress level is off the chart.We need to have the choice to keep our own safe with remote. Seems nobody in charge even cares to listen. My immune system is composed with different health problems. If I get COVID and die there is absolutely nobody to take him and he will be put into foster care. He will be distroid. I've worked with him for years to get him where he is today not to have it be undone because of COVID. Please push this. We all have our reason for wanting remote learning so please give us the option.


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