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Monday, Jan 24th

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You are here News Health Students don't want to learn in a 'COVID petri dish.' They're walking out to prove their point.

Students don't want to learn in a 'COVID petri dish.' They're walking out to prove their point.

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Studens walk out

As teachers unions and schools battle over in-person and remote learning, students nationwide are demanding a seat at the table. Many are staging walkouts this week.

“We are the ones who have been in this environment every day. It's our bodies that we're putting at risk," said Kayla Quinlan, a 16-year-old student activist at Boston Day and Evening Academy. “Students should have a say in what their learning environment looks like, but our voices are always left out."

School officials have also faced pressure to stay open for the sake of students' academic, social and mental well-being. Research has shown extended school closures during the pandemic have exacerbated mental health challenges and worsened learning outcomes.

While specific demands vary, students' requests largely center around allowing remote learning options as an alternative for those who are worried about coming to school, rather than shutting classrooms down altogether. Student coalitions that have advocated for shifting fully to remote have only called to do so temporarily if schools do not enforce stricter COVID-19 precautions, including more frequent testing and higher-quality masks.

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