Students strike 5 day in-person learning, ask Lex Rich 5 district leaders for another option

They say they feel their concerns have fallen on deaf ears, after a student-led protest last week.

COLUMBIA (WOLO): Students in the Lexington Richland 5 School District are on strike. They say they feel their concerns have fallen on deaf ears, after a student led protest last week.

Until last week, Wednesday’s were virtual learning days for students in the district’s hybrid program. Now, while many were back in the classroom today, others opted to stay home. “I spoke to the board, and it came to the point where I had to organize the strike because nothing was being changed,” Spring Hill High School school sophomore, Dani Cabaup said. 

By signing on to Google Classroom as opposed to attending school, students are asking for a compromise. Keep 5 day in-person learning for those who want it, but bring back the virtual option or include live streaming for those who feel unsafe or overwhelmed.

Spring Hill High School Junior, Noah Clarkson says, “I love my school, but I don’t agree with what the district is doing. I think we should have a third option. It would relive a lot of stress on us; it’d give us a day maybe to do those assignments that are missing to catch up on work if we’re falling behind.”

“We’re not even 6 feet apart from the desks. It’s more like we’re 3 feet apart. We can’t social distance,” said Cabaup.

Dani Cabaup’s mother, Renee Cabaup said, “it gives them a chance to breathe. They can breathe physically because they don’t have to wear a mask at home, and they can breathe emotionally because they’re not constantly worried about touching things and being around people. We don’t feel it is a big demand to continue to have Wednesday offered to kids who want to go to school virtually.”

Renee says the controversy over the issue has gone too far in her community and online. She says the focus needs to be on the kids and what’s best for each family. “These are kids who are high school age who we encourage any other time to have a voice and speak their mind, but now that they’re speaking their mind, they’re being condemned for it, and as a parent it really irritates me. The bottom line is we’re all concerned with our kids’ education and our health and safety and that’s what we should all be talking about.”

Wednesday evening, the district told ABC Columbia news, they did not see a significant decrease or change in average attendance numbers. They say they continue to do what they can to ensure students’ safety.

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