Members of West De Pere community push back against district’s decision to return to in-person learning

Local News

DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) — A week after the West De Pere School District returned to class, some district parents are still unhappy with the decision.

“I spoke at both of the meetings,” Parent Adam Rockman told Local 5 Monday. “Well actually, I spoke at the first one prior to going back to school, and I was working for the second one so I wrote a letter that my wife read.”

Rockman works as an ICU Nurse, a job he says has given him first-hand experience with the coronavirus pandemic.

“[For] a lot of people, this is just a story on the news,” he said, “and they don’t know anyone who’s been personally effected by it, but realistically I’ve been dealing with this since early spring. It’s consumed the vast majority of my days at work.”

That perspective has shaped his opinion that students shouldn’t be in school right now.

“No one likes not going out with their friends, no one likes not having their kids in school, but in order to get past this, we need to do the right things and I think listening to health experts is doing the right thing,” Rockman said.

District Superintendent Dennis Krueger spoke with Local 5 over the phone about the decision to return to in-person learning.

“The district has been working with the health department from the beginning of Covid until present, we continue to work with the health department,” he said.

The district’s superintendent says he’s confident students are safe back in class.

“We are confident that it is safe,” Krueger said. “Students also have the option if they would like to remain virtual, to do so.”

Rockman has chosen the online option for his son, but he says with the trajectory our area is on right now, in-person learning shouldn’t be an option.

“With the amount of cases that we’re seeing and the positivity rates and the hospitalization rates, we can’t just go and do whatever you want because that’s what you want to do,” he said.

According to Krueger, it’s a no-win situation.

“Unfortunately with this topic no matter which model we would be in, there would be people who would be unhappy,” he said.

In response to the district’s decision to continue in-person instruction, a group of “parents, students, and community members” has started an online petition, asking the district to change its protocols when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.


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