BARRINGTON, Ill. (CBS) — The same day parents and students in the northwest suburbs rallied demanding that schools reopen, the district announced new COVID-19 cases that included a student.
As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, frustrated parents in Barrington went straight to the school board on Tuesday.
Parents tried packing the Barrington 220 School Board meeting, which was still under way at 10 p.m. But due to social distancing guidelines, not everyone could get inside and speak out.
But some students and parents made their opinion clear Tuesday night.
Drivers also came by in their cars to support the crowd. Dozens gathered on Main Street, asking the board to pay attention to their demands.
“Everybody’s trying to let our administration know that they need to let us back in school,” said parent Krissy Lohmeyer.
Lohmeyer brought her children to the rally demanding e-learning not be the only option.
“E-learning isn’t working,” Lohmeyer said. “I have four kids in elementary school right now, and they’re struggling every single day. I’m struggling as their parent. Their teachers are struggling.”
Many in the crowd insist Barrington’s decision not to open schools completely has become counterproductive.
“I feel like I’m not truly learning,” said Barrington High School senior Ingrid Riepe. “I’m just sitting in front of screen all day.”
While the crowd made its way down Main Street to the school board meeting, the district announced two staff members and a student at Barrington High School tested positive for COVID-19 recently. It adds contact tracing is under way with the health department.
“It seems really well-timed that right before the board meeting, the school board would bring up the fact that COVID cases have been reported at Barrington high schools,” said parent Gavin Riepe.
The school board said it will follow the data and science, and that will determine if full classes resume. The superintendent explained his position.
“And I think we are being extremely cautious here in making sure that when we do reopen, that we are taking every precaution needed and necessary to say open,” said Barrington Area Unit District 220 Supt. Brian Harris.
Yet parents said opening schools does not guarantee positive cases or worse.
“Kids have been back in colleges for several months now. I don’t see the hospitals filling up. I don’t see the morgues filling up,” Gavin Riepe said, “so let’s look at the situation. Other schools in other states are already back.”
As it stands, hybrid learning will happen in two weeks in Barrington – but only if the numbers don’t spike.