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Texas students come out and demand better COVID rules | KTA

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ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Students in the Round Rock School District in central Texas walked out of class Thursday to protest the enforcement of the district’s COVID-19 policy. The district said it shared the students’ concerns.

More than 600 students signed a petition that was started among students at Cedar Ridge High School, but then spread to other high schools and colleges.

The students ask the district administration to do the following:

  • District again conducts contact tracing and notifies close contacts
  • The mask mandate is enforced
  • KN95/N95 masks are provided in schools for each student
  • Rapid or PCR tests are provided every two weeks for everyone on campus
  • All students have outdoor spaces to eat, even when it rains.

At RRISD high schools, students planned to meet outside of their respective schools for what organizers call “socially distanced protests.” An Instagram account dedicated to the walkout told middle school students to go home immediately after 10 a.m.

According to the district, students who participate in the walkout will receive an unjustified absence, but no other sanctions. The directors also provided “a safe space” to congregate for those who chose to participate.

Asmita Lehther, a senior at Round Rock High School and one of the organizers, said “things aren’t going to get better until we take a stand.”

“We care about student safety, we care about faculty safety, and we need the district to listen to us. We need a mask mandate that is actually enforced.

Round Rock ISD students walked out of class Thursday to protest the school district’s COVID-19 policies. (KXAN Photo/Ed Zavala)

Another student, a junior, said it was all about safety for students and staff.

“There are kids who don’t wear masks at all all day, and I don’t feel safe,” the student said. “I don’t want to get sick and make my family sick.”

The student said children should be tested weekly and a mask mandate should be enforced. The student also said that many teachers were sick but were “doing their best”.

“We just want the board to listen to us,” the student said.

The district said a mask requirement continues to be in place and there is free testing at a district site, with an effort being made to expand those testing opportunities.

The district also said it had improved its air filtration system in schools and closed campuses if there were a lot of staff.

“We are closing individual classes and temporarily transitioning to remote learning (as permitted by the TEA) when there are a significant number of epi-related cases in a class,” the district said. “However, we must balance closure decisions with the importance of keeping schools open for a variety of reasons, including the important resources that campuses provide daily and on which many families depend.”

About 50 Round Rock High School students walked out of class around 10:30 a.m.

Texas students come out and demand better COVID rules | KTA

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