Some LAUSD Parents Hold Zoom Blackout Protest As District Reaches Deal With Workers

Parents, frustrated with the Los Angeles Unified School District’s decision not to immediately reopen campuses, held a Zoom blackout protest Monday in Westwood.

Video Transcript

- Students across LA will be heading back to class at some point. Superintendent Austin Beutner gave an update on their effort to reopen schools.

AUSTIN BEUTNER: As difficult as the decision was to close school classrooms, reopening is even harder. We have to balance the learning needs of students, the support we provide to working families, and the responsibility to protect the health and safety of all in the school community. We cannot and will not compromise on health and safety.

- It is all about the balance there and safety as well. Beutner says all of the health practices and protocols in place at the schools already exceed the most recent guidelines from the CDC. And he announced the creation of the Daily Pass. It's a simple digital tool right here that will screen people and get them into the building quickly and safely by avoiding crowds at the entrance. It will also keep track of everyone in the building.

Beutner hopes to have preschools and elementary schools open by April 9. In the meantime, school workers, represented by the union, reached an agreement with the district for the eventual reopening of schools as well. Now highlights of the agreement include-- check this out-- essential workers get priority for the vaccine.

Also, no one will be required to return to a school or worksite without first being offered the vaccine. And those who are required to quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19 will receive emergency paid sick leave. Support for vulnerable students, school workers will support expanded services to special needs students, foster youth, English language learners, homeless students, and others who have most, of course, been impacted by learning laws.

And there will be hero pay. We've talked about this. All workers required to report to a worksite will be paid an additional $5 an hour. Well, some LAUSD parents are protesting schools remaining closed while other districts are reopening.

- These children are political hostages. They want to go back to school. We are so fed up. All these other cities, all these other countries and states are figuring out how to reopen.

- All right, parents are organizing a blackout campaign. Instead of signing on to their Zoom classes, parents walked their kids to the federal building on Wilshire today. They are trying to put the pressure on the UTLA and the district. They say distance learning has taken a huge toll on the kids. And other parents say, we are still in the purple tier and schools do need to reopen, but to do so and do it safely.