Thursday, September 24, 2020

Eastern Iowa teachers travel to Des Moines to rally in hopes of bringing local control to return-to-learn plans

CORALVILLE, Iowa (KCRG) – Some teachers from eastern Iowa joined a protest this afternoon in Des Moines, calling on the Governor to change the rules for return-to-learn plans in eastern Iowa.

Teachers from across the state, including here in eastern Iowa, made the trip to Des Moines to be a part of that rally, and teachers said it was their goal to let local government and school boards, determine how classes should go for students and staff.

Rachel DeMaris, an eighth-grade science teacher with College Community School District, was one of many teachers that showed up to the Walmart parking lot in Coralville Friday morning.

All of those teachers were united in displaying a clear message.

“We want to be with our students,” DeMaris said. “That is our number one goal. We are just asking to press pause until it’s safe for us to do that.”

DeMaris and other say the focus was on getting “local control” as the school year is set to begin.

“We need to be allowed to make decisions at the local level that support the health and safety of our students and our teachers and all of the staff in our schools,” DeMaris said.

For these educators like Nathan Kelley from Iowa City, their passion still lies with teaching- but they shared that passion by showing up in person both in Coralville and in Des Moines.

“So many people sit at home and don’t do anything,” said Nathan Kelley, an elementary music teacher in the Iowa City Community School District. “It’s time that teachers and the community members stand up and say: ‘Kim, this is not okay. Leave local control with the school boards, the people that we elect.’”

Kelley said their mission is still to encourage and teach students when school resumes.

“We all have the same end goal,” Kelley said. “It’s for our kids to be back in school safe. But every community has a way that that needs to go about differently.”

Teachers said that is why people statewide made the trip to the state’s capitol.

“We can’t teach students when they’re ill,” DeMaris said. “And we can’t teach when they’re ill. So to me success is that show of solidarity, and that show of love of support for our students and their families and our profession.”

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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