WHEATON - Crowds of parents gathered in Wheaton Tuesday night to argue remote learning is going to set back an entire generation.
The parents want students to return to the classroom, sports and other activities.
“We are in the process, I think, of destroying a generation,” said David Ruggles.
“Staring at a screen for 5 hours a day, or 25 hours a week is not the best solution for our students,” said Eric Brown.
Brown has five kids in District 200. All of them are e-learning, but he wants change.
“The goal is for the decision makers at the state level, at the local level, to really think about the mental health and wellbeing of the children to get them back in school,” Brown said.
“I’ve seen firsthand the negative results, the loss of interaction that happens with our students,” said Chris Whaley, teacher and coach at Metea Valley High School.
Organizers say they are in full support of teachers, staff and administrators, but with e-learning, the overall health and wellbeing of students is in jeopardy.
“Relationships only happen in face-to-face interactions,” Whaley said.
“Coaches, student athletes and parents are saying it’s time to get the kids back out on the field, they need it not only from a physical standpoint, but from a mental standpoint,” said Joe Trost, an advocate for student athletes.
Athletes agree, especially high school seniors who want the senior year they have imagined.
“As an athlete I want to have my senior season, play basketball and football again with all my best friends and just play one last time together,” said senior Jaylen Brown.
“Everybody that wants to be back will take any precaution necessary,” said Wheaton Warrenville South High School senior Caroline Kratz.
FOX 32 asked those two seniors how e-learning is going so far. The one said he has had kids hack into his zoom calls. The other said it does not seem to be as effective as in person learning.