Central Valley High School seniors protest virtual learning

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — Central Valley High School seniors and athletes reported to school on Monday to protest the current virtual learning program.

High schoolers in the Central Valley School District have been learning virtually since the start of the year and, as of now, there is no plan to bring them into classrooms anytime soon.

Senior Ryan Clay organized the protest and expected about 100 students to participate.

Clay said he does not understand why older students cannot be in buildings when elementary students can. Second graders are set to return to in-person learning on Wednesday and kindergartners, as well as first graders, have been in class for a few weeks.

Education experts have stressed the important of younger students being in class, as that is where they learn routines and other necessary skills and public health experts have also warned that older students pose a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19.

Clay said he is concerned about his peers’ mental health struggles and added that people his age need some form of socializing.

The Central Valley School District has a phased-in approach to bringing students back to class. The reopening plan focuses on bringing elementary students in first, with middle and high schoolers later on.

RELATED: Central Valley kindergarten students start in-person learning

READ: Central Valley second graders to return to in-person learning next Wednesday