Roxbury parents, teachers and students rally to bring special needs children back into the classroom

Roxbury parents, teachers and students rally to bring special needs children back into the classroom

BOSTON — Rain or shine, close to 100 parents, children and teachers rallied in front of the Bolling building in Roxbury to get their message across - special needs children need in-person learning.

Many parents shared the same story - they want their special needs child back for in-person learning because they are having a hard time understanding at-home lessons. Parents and teachers say they feel left behind during the planning process because their loved ones have special needs.

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“I’m missing my friends and teachers,” said Michael Lee, a 4th grader.

One mother rallying on Thursday, Rene Banks, has a 10-year-old son who has special needs and a medical condition.

“I have a child that has an IEP, a rare muscle disease,” said Banks.

Banks, like many of the other parents here, want their kids in school learning and not on a computer.

“Emotionally it’s breaking the kids down, they are expecting kids to sit on the computer for 6 hours and listen,” said Banks.

But, for the Banks family and many others, the fear is that schools don’t have the proper infrastructure to insure their kids' will be safe when they go back to the classroom.

Some of the school buildings are close to 100 years old and have poor ventilation systems, so they are asking for safer building spaces.

“Currently, only 35 of the schools have HVAC systems, a box fan and one open window is the ventilation,” Ruby Reyes, the Director of Boston Education Justice Alliance.

“My son has asthma, he has a heart murmur,” said Banks.

For Santa Feliz, her son needs all the care he can get, leaving her jobless and financially struggling.

“I’m not working because my son is in my house,” said Feliz.

The Boston Teachers Union say they have submitted plan after plan to ensure students will be safe coming back to in-person lessons. The union just submitted another plan on Wednesday and are waiting to hear back from administrators at Boston Public Schools.

Boston 25 has also reached out to a spokesperson at BPS and are waiting to hear back.

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