As the COVID-19 crisis disrupts lives, Floridians have started two fast-growing Change.org petitions to keep schools closed and void all 4th quarter grading, passing all students.
Vanessa Brito, a Miami activist, started a petition campaigning for Gov. DeSantis to keep schools closed, instead of reopening in May. She argues that “doing so would have a long-term impact on our school system, educators, and students,” and that “[r]eopening schools in May would put our teachers at risk and exponentially propagate the virus. The State of Florida is expected to peak just before the beginning of May.” Her petition has 34,000 signatures and is moving fast. Multiple teachers and parents have signed and commented:
Jennifer Karvaski of Lake Worth, a teacher, commented: “As much as I miss my students, it is impossible to keep from passing germs in a school. This will only continue to spread this virus as so many kids can carry it without symptoms. Online for the rest of the year so we can all stay safe and get back to normal.”
Johanna Calderon of Hollywood added: “I’m an educator and also have high risk health issues. I can not risk the exposure.”
Another petition with over 180,000 signatures, started by a coalition of Florida students, is arguing for schools to void all 4th quarter grading, and pass all students because of the COVID-19 impact on schooling. The petition states: “The workload along with the stress and anxiety placed on students and teachers does not create a healthy environment for learning to take place. Without the ability to be in direct contact with a teacher, students are not as willing to work and find it harder to grasp the concepts. I have started this petition in hopes of getting our GPA for the 4th quarter voided and receiving our credits in full for this 2nd semester. Students should not be penalized for a global issue that is now fully out of control.”
Sade Timberlake, a Groveland parent, agrees with this cause, commenting: “Im signing this petition as a parent of two school aged children.My children are already experiencing the anxiety & stress of COVID19 .These children should be able to have the ending quarter overlooked as they were under extreme pressure as well as endured increase pressure to hybrid learning.My children are struggling with there studies& wouldn’t have this struggle if they were able to be in there own classroom with an instructor.” Her comment received over 800 likes.
Anika Daniel, a student from Ocala, commented: “I’ve signed this because the amount of extra work that I’ve been assigned has been so much harder to do and it’s so stressful to try to get everything done by the end of the week when there’s 6 classes and 10x the amount of work we get in school and on top of that its much harder for me to focus at home then when I’m at school.”