TUCSON, Ariz. — A few dozen gathered outside of the Pima County government building Tuesday evening to let the health department know that they want the option to send their kids back to school in a hybrid model.
The grassroots group said the county claims it’s too soon to offer hybrid learning, despite meeting the metrics recommended by the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The group tells KGUN9 they have three demands for the health department. The first demand is to allow hybrid in-person learning when metrics are met. The second is to offer data to support concerns of hospital capacity and public health. The final demand is to offer data as to the calculation of the metrics. The group goes into detail asking for timely investigations and contact tracing of symptomatic cases within 48 hours.
In the crowd of protesters chanting, "open schools," were two Ironwood Ridge students who said they feel as though they are missing out by not being in the classroom.
"Our teacher was literally talking to us today, telling us how concerned she was about us and our mental health, because we just been staring at a screen like all day, every day, and she was actually worried about us and I don't know I didn't feel good,” explained Marlena Liddick.
While her friend Janessa Yanez explained she feels like she's missing out on being an upperclassmen.
KGUN9 On Your Side reached out to the county for a response to the demonstration.
The Deputy County Administrator and Chief Medical Officer replied saying in part:
"In Pima County, this consultation process involves the back-to-school taskforce made up of all the public school superintendents as well as representatives of the charter and private/parochial schools. The county will continue to provide this technical support and feedback to schools as they make these difficult decisions."
Tuesday evenings protest ended with an incident between a protester and someone who didn't agree with their message.