NAPERVILLE, IL — Hundreds of parents and students gathered in Naperville Monday to demand a return to in-person learning.
Catherine Kingsbury, who is a mother of twins at Naperville Central High School, spoke at the rally, Kingsbury said, "We know what is right and what is right is that our children should be first."
Kingsbury went on to say, "The teachers need our voices too. They're afraid to speak out."
Therapist Adam Russo, who also spoke at the event, said, "Let's hear about what the effects of 'safety' have been six months later."
"If current trends continue and there is just a 1 percent increase in suicides, more kids will die of suicide than of COVID this year."
He then went on to mention the potential significance of high school sports.
Russo said, "You can't learn motivation, you can't learn discipline just by sitting in front of a screen."
Will County Board Member Nancy Berkowitz took the stage, saying, "I think our message is that it's time to go back to normal. Our families need it, our children need it and our parents need it."
Berkowitz went on,"No parent here should have to make a choice [between] how do work or how do I teach my child remotely."
"I'm hearing from my friends and neighbors, our parents, they want to go back to work. And our children want to go back and get an education," Berkowitz said.
She added, "It is a safe environment for our children and our teachers. We can't argue with that stat."
A fourth-grader at Scott Elementary School named Libby said her family recently moved to a new neighborhood, but she hasn't gotten to make many new friends because she hasn't been in school. Libby said, "When my mom told me we can't go to school this year, I was really sad."
"I feel like we don't learn as much as we did in 'real school,'" Libby said.
Naperville Community Unit District 203 recently released an e-learning survey for parents.