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State Senator Sonny Borrelli speaks with concerned parents Friday morning in front of the Lake Havasu Unified School District offices.

When protesters gathered in front of the Lake Havasu Unified School District offices Friday, Arizona Sen. Sonny Borrelli greeted them. The first day of school can be a jarring transition for some students, but now parents will be entering unfamiliar new territory as Havasu begins the school year with an online-only curriculum. By about 10 a.m. Friday, a handful of parents were gathered outside the school district offices to protest the opening of online-only education next week. 

“I came to answer parents’ questions,” Borrelli said. “I saw the (protest) announced on social media, and came out. I wanted to listen to their frustrations. People don’t always know how the system works, and there’s a lot of confusion and sometimes mixed messages from the school district.”

Governor Ducey has said he will leave it up to the local school districts to decide when to reopen, using metrics provided by the state. The data will be made available to school districts by Aug. 7, according to the governor’s office.

According to Borrelli, parents might not always be well-informed enough to know what questions to ask of the school board, and sometimes the answers can be misunderstood. And with this year’s new transition to the digital classroom, some parents may be justifiably concerned.

“Some parents don’t want their children to be in online classes,” Borrelli said. “The priority should be children and parents first. It’s frustrating for them when some of the school board members come out with different information and different explanations.”

Borrelli said he believes schools should be able to physically reopen if the school district can assure students’ safety.

“If the schools can follow the CDC guidelines, they should be able to open,” Borrelli said. “Medical professionals say kids are the least vulnerable to the virus. Earlier this year the concern was that they could catch (the coronavirus) at school and bring it home, where family members could get sick. Now they’ve been out during the summer for parks and recreation and other activities, and nothing’s happened.”

The Lake Havasu Unified School District is scheduled to open its online classrooms and curriculum for students on Monday. Officials have yet to determine when, or if, in-classroom learning will resume.

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(6) comments

HavasuGuy

Again Borrelli shows his disconnect with reality when he says, "Now they’ve been out during the summer for parks and recreation and other activities, and nothing’s happened.”

First, there has not been a local summer parks and recreation program in Havasu this year, he doesn't know that?

Second, There have been plenty of news stories about summer camp infections and camps closing down. This story was in the national news just today;

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/children-staff-georgia-overnight-camp-201651044.html

In it it states, "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study Friday on the outbreak, saying that it shows children are susceptible to the virus and "play an important role in transmission."

The camp, which the CDC did not name, held an orientation for 120 staff members and more than 130 trainees in mid-June, according to its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The staff members stayed at the camp and on June 21 were joined by more than 360 campers ranging in age from 6 to 19.

Days later, on June 23, a teenage staff member left after developing chills and later tested positive for the coronavirus. The camp began to send people home the following day and alerted the state's Department of Public Health.

Among the children and staff who were tested for the virus, 260 came back positive, with 231 of them aged 17 or younger."

Come on Borrelli, we expect you to know something before you open your mouth. Is that really too much to ask for?

RESIST

I hate to say this, but I question why any parent would insist on their child be put in a crowded situation during an International Pandemic! Are they just not educated thoroughly about the danger of transmission of this deadly virus? I shudder to think it is because school is a free child care alternative! People please! No one is happy about the situation this lawless, inept administration has left us in but until we can put in a new administration who truly cares about the lives and health of our citizens, we are stuck in a holding pattern trying to stay alive! Vote, for God's sake, vote!

WildlandFyrMan

We can social distance and dine in at restaurant but not open the schools? The death rate of COVID is 1%. The school is using this as an excuse. I have seen plenty of Havasu teachers at restaurants. I will never support this school district again.

RESIST

It appears you are questioning whether children have the ability to behave as adults! Have you ever seen a classroom of 5 and 6 year olds? What about lunch break and recess? Will schools be able to keep children the recommended safe distance of 6 feet from one another? NO! It is impossible! To say schools are using an International Pandemic as "an excuse" is moronic! We would all love to be back in our "normal" lives! It just isn't safe!!

8957

I would have liked to see some quotes from the protesters to better understand what they are disagreeing with. The reporter just turned this into a photo op for Borrelli.

RESIST

Indeed! Let's have some real journalism!

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