Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) – Dozens of parents, students and teachers rallied in front of Erie County Hall Sunday, calling for the immediate and full return to school.
The local rally was part of a nationwide effort to pressure public health and political leaders to to allow for the full return to in-class learning.
“Right now it appears political science is trumping actual science,” said Tarja Parssinen from the group WNY Students First in a WBEN interview. “All the science and all the data show that there’s no transmission in schools.”
WNY Students First has published an open letter to New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. The letter details the devastating effects of remote and hybrid “learning” on children. In addition, the group highlights the latest research that shows that schools can open fully and safely at less than 6 feet with masks and other precautions.
WNY Students First is calling on Dr. Zucker and Governor Cuomo to fulfill their mandate to “protect, improve and promote the health, productivity and well-being” of our children.
Parssinen says remote and hybrid learning is having a devastating impact on the physical, social, emotional health of children of all ages. Isolation, depression, and malnutrition have reached crisis levels during the pandemic. The academic toll will take years to overcome for those students that do not drop out of school altogether, says Parssinen.
WNY Students First says current guidance from the New York State Department of Health and Erie County Department of Health now contradicts the advice coming from many of our leading scientific experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, and Harvard University.