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Bend-La Pine parents plan rally to call for return to in-person learning

'Our school board really needs to take a look ... and make sure there is continuity across the county.'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ )-- Some parents in Bend-La Pine Schools want their children back in the classroom, and they're planning to rally to make their case.

The COVID-19 pandemic ended the 2019 school year abruptly and prompted continued online virtual learning for at least the start of the 2020-21 school year.

But some parents feel some students are being left behind with the virtual learning model.

The parents are planning a rally on Monday in front of the Bend- La Pine Schools Administration Building downtown, from 4p.m. to 6 p.m.

Kelly Vlach and Indu Fairbanks are organizing the rally, and started a Facebook page called Open Bend-La Pine Schools.
"I think also the other school districts in our county have gone back, to the K-3 hybrid models. Sisters and Redmond, I believe are both back starting this week," Vlach said Thursday.

"We are in the same county, following the same metrics, so it would make sense that we would also be able to go back. Our school board really needs to take a look at that and make sure there is continuity across the county."

In recent days, the Bend-La Pine and Redmond school districts have delayed reopening K-3 classrooms until at least Oct. 26 due to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Deschutes County. Sisters K-3 students however, did return to in-person classes this week, in part-time "hybrid" fashion."

Both Vlach and Fairbanks said high school students are struggling, especially ones required to take the sat or other college ready exams, because of the limited availability.

The rally organizers said being out of the classroom has affected to students but also has added burden to teachers who love their jobs and their students.

Six schools elsewhere in Oregon have reported COVID-19 cases since school began, according to the Oregon Health Authority's weekly report. 

But Vlach said, "I'm not concerned."

Fairbanks agreed: "I'm not concerned, either. Obviously, there might be a chance, but there is also a chance they can get the flu, there is a chance they can get in a car accident."

Fairbanks said they're grateful for their teachers during this time, and understand some may not be comfortable returning to the classroom.

"Things might even out, in the sense that if given the option to go back to school in person, they would also still have the option to remain online," she added.

"So given that option there probably, or most likely will be enough teachers willing to go in person, and then those wanting to stay home for whatever reason," Fairbanks said. "It will all shake out."

On Monday, students participating in the rally will also log out for the entire day as part of the protest, not participating in curriculum for the day.

Fairbanks also said she will be contacting her children's teachers ahead of the rally to inform them why her students will not be present. Again, she said the rally is to benefit not only families but also teachers who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic.

Bend / Central Oregon / Deschutes County / Education / La Pine / News / Redmond / Sisters / Top Stories
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Arielle Brumfield

Arielle Brumfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Arielle here.



    1. Any bets that schools have been closed for 6 months now and it made no darn difference? I say who is afraid of the virus stay home and let others go on with their lives instead of locking the healthy population into a cage and destroy the future and livelihood of the next generation.
      If crowds can riot, loot, burn down cities then our youth can go to school and finally get the education they deserve.

  1. Reading over this article I sympathize with parents and students during distance learning, it’s tough for most. However, the reasons Vlach gives to justify returning contain too many vagaries, such as might, probably, it will all shake out, and some poor analogies. Keeping kids out of school is difficult but it is a huge mitigation of the virus. We need to pay attention to the numbers locally and let science be the guiding factor.

    1. Except it is not, quit lying. EVERY study has shown that for young children being in school has almost NO impact on the spread of covid AND EVERY study has shown that not having in person instruction at school is FAR more detrimental. Get your facts straight. Liberals don’t know how to perform statistical analysis. That means they don’t know science.

      1. Agreed !……….. It is amazing how Governor Brown picks and chooses which CDC guidelines to follow and which to ignore. The CDC has been clear- get yer kids back in school…… But Brown has a different agenda. “Hate Brown” is determined to keep working families at home- jeopardizing their income- ability to pay their bills- and depend on Brown’s handouts !……….. This is despicable and reminiscent of every international dictator that has walked the globe ! These parents need to do more than just “rally” ! They need to take a cue from the mean streets of Portland end “enforce” their will… through peaceful means of course… just like Antifa and BLM !

        1. Hey sexy. I love it went you babble and spew like the President at a debate. How are your taters tonight? Crinkly and angry and shriveled? 😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘

      2. How many studies constitute every study?

        What do you mean by no impact?

        What study shows in person instruction is detrimental?

        Please share this information with us.

    1. OK Mr. Scientist extraordinaire…. Over the weekend I saw an advertisement by the NFL… they were introducing their newly enhanced deep cleaning protocols that will usher in thousands of fans back to the stadiums…… The commercial was highlighted by numerous film clips of cleaning staff “spraying” some kind of chemical solution on hand rails- in press boxes and coaches suites- around the snack bars…. what is it ??? Just what exactly is this miracle product that is not only being used by the NFL- but also by American Airlines- and children’s Theme parks world-wide ???……….. Cmon now dazzle us !

      1. Yeah get him tiger. I love when talk all sexy about the commercials that you are learning from. My boys love when you get all engorged from righteous indignation.πŸ§šπŸ»β€β™‚οΈ πŸ§šπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

        OOH I bet Trump knows the mystery liquid hes a genius

        β€œAnd then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute β€” one minute β€” and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning?” he asked. β€œBecause you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that

        1. No pussy cat- you need to up yer game- cause once again you’ve completely missed the big zebra hangin’ from the tree !

          The point is that there are real scientific solutions that Dictator Brown is refusing to acknowledge- and it’s slowly creeping into the mainstream. Some of us have known about these solutions for years- through our US Military- going way back to WWII. But you go ahead- keep goofin’ on Elvis playin’ the fool- the adults in the room will solve the problems for the whiny and wimpy left- they got “minecraft” to get to !

          1. Really? I’d start with basic stuff like the scientific method, experimental design, peer review of experimental findings, how new knowledge is gained, how statistics are applied. I certainly wouldn’t ask a trivia question like bghw did.

        1. Hey Pickle…tonight’s debate has rules- and name calling- interruptions- and blatant arrogance are not allowed ! Cripes- You-Sloppy Joe Biden- the whole liberal loony lot- if I only had a mute button !

            1. Actually- Yes I can- but due to your cryptic questioning format- I’m not sure “who” you are talking about…. “Brown” ? If so- I think you provided enough examples to answer yer own question- as in “No”- she doesn’t utilize the scientific data provided by the OHA- and I point this out almost on a daily basis ! The scientific method has proven specific environmental solutions to the point that they are approved by the EPA- and are to be used as recommended by the CDC re-opening guidelines… Brown is not doing this ! Where’s the update on the Oregon OSHA Covid19 guidelines ? Why don’t you tell us all about hydroxychloroquine- and why some medical professionals and patients swear by it- but the FDA has “yet” to approve it ! Sounds a lot like DMSO to me !

  2. I have empathy for those whose income and child care have been negatively impacted by the virus. That said, it isn’t going away just because we want it to. Social distancing is necessary for the foreseeable future. The sooner we all embrace that and respond accordingly, the sooner we can get this behind us.

    1. Social distancing and masks address those asymptomatic people who do not know they are carriers- so yes- everyone should be masked up and maintain “8 feet” of distance to prevent spit- saliva- and slobber from being projected onto you during conversation…. the rest of the “cure” has more to do with our hands and touch points ! This is sorely lacking as most Oregonians are not being encouraged enough to clean and sanitize surfaces- that is on the OHA and Kate (Ima Failure) Brown !

      1. Ooh you are getting me so hot with all your cleaning talk. I love that you are into cleaning and sanitizing you surfaces.

        I imagine alone at home in some dirty tidy whites with a tv dinner and fox news.


  3. Here we again. No one can have their on opinions. If you don’t agree with someone’s else fears than you are are an idiot, a racist, a high school dropout, a science denier, and a Trump loving covidiot. Anonypuss and his minions on here are hypocrites and bigots. We should all strive to be just as virtuous as them.

      1. So if you are denied access to education (you pay for) then you are “playing the victim role”? I say lets seize all your assets and income like the government did for many by essentially seizing their employment and see how you react. I know young people with children who essentially struggle to keep the roof above their children’s head because their business was forced to close. Why don’t you go and help out those in need with your checkbook instead of being selfish and demand the young and healthy ones to starve so you can feel safer.

        1. If only there was a system in place that could plan ahead for unforeseen catastrophes and pandemics to take care of a group of people that paid a certain percentage out of their income. Something that would ensure that should some form of tragedy occur, that group of people would be taken care of while said tragedy, or pandemic ran amok. This way, people could stay safe and have the peace of mind that their children won’t go hungry, their roof won’t be taken away, and everyone would be supported until whatever pandemic could be dealt with.
          I’d call it a “government”. I hope we can have a functioning one again, someday.

  4. This is not a rally- this is a full fledged (it’s about time) protest over failed Governor “I hate Kate Brown’s” over-reach. Whose irrational-illogical- and unscientifically based con to shut down schools is finally being called to the mat ! This- in particular- needs addressing….. “they’re grateful for their teachers during this time, and understand some may not be comfortable returning to the classroom.”….. “Not comfortable returning” ???? Why the hell not- God knows we pay you enough !
    —————— So here’s some advice- from a former classroom instructor- if you are deftly afraid of catching this China virus from Wuhan- put a couple of fans on your desk to improve ventilation- maintain social distancing- treat the grimy buggers like the virus infested children they’ve always been ! Deep clean your classroom between periods- and keep a box of clorox wipes near you at all times to wipe your own hands with- put on a face shield- and get back to work !…….
    If you do these simple preventative measures- you are guaranteed not to catch the China-Wuhan-Bat flu !…………..Damn people- grow a pair !!!!

    1. Bob,

      The problem with home schooling is that Republican parents don’t want to teach or take care of their children.

      It is heartbreaking that parents don’t want to take care of these little gifts from Christ himself. Pray for the parents to do their Christian duty and take care of their poor children.

      1. What happened to personal responsibility? They chose to have the kids and it their responsibility to take care of them. Being mad that their daycare – school – is closed because of a worldwide pandemic and they are expected to actually raise their children now is ridiculous. I have kids and it is MY responsibility to make sure they are logging into school and doing their homework. It is also my responsibility as a parent to try and shield them from catching COVID-19 because of the unknown long term effects of it.

  5. Schools have been closed for over 6 months now and it made no darn difference in the spread of covid. It is the most ridiculous thing I heard that while everything is pretty much open, CO had tons of visitors from all over the country over the summer, crowds can riot, loot, burn down cities, BUT schools… oh no, kids must be kicked out of school, no way they can practice sports or have on site classes just because some idiot says so. I don’t even understand why the state is the one who decides and not the local district.

  6. The blessing is that many more parents will begin home schooling their children and end the liberal brainwashing of a whole generation. There may be hope for our country.

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