Proctor Students March For More In-Person Learning

With schools across the Northland implementing distance and hybrid learning options, frustration has boiled up from students and administrators. One group of students came together to march for more in-person learning and local administrators responded to their cause.

PROCTOR, Minn. – With schools across the Northland implementing distance and hybrid learning options, frustration has boiled up from students and administrators.

One group of students came together to march for more in-person learning and local administrators responded to their cause.

Middle and high school students of Proctor Public Schools came together to let their voices be heard. They hope to change the minds of the administration to let them do more face-to-face learning.

Starting from Bayview Elementary, students led the way, saying chants about their frustrations while holding homemade signs all the way to Proctor High School.

One senior we spoke with says she understands the administration’s decision to allow for limited in-person learning, but she wants something different.

She hopes that the administration can look at the numbers again and rethink the current plan.

“I get that but I think that what they’re looking at the rates, they should look more in-depth to our schools and our age,” said McKenzie Gunderson, a senior at Proctor High School.

School administrators say it was good to see the students advocating for themselves in this way.

“These students are leaders and this is what student leadership looks like,” said Joe Krasselt, the middle school principal. “This is what social activism and civic engagement looks like for our students. It was really great to see them today.”

They also say that while they are proud of their students, they also want to make sure they’re looking out for students’ wellbeing, including their overall safety.

“I think we can empathize with them quite a bit,” said Krasselt.” We want them back as well. At the same time, we want to balance that with the data that’s showing that biweekly infection rate is about 30 now for four weeks in a row. So we want them to come back but we care about their safety as well.”

Administrators told us that in response to the march, they hope to do a review of the current schedule by possibly extending face-to-face meetings with teachers for students.

Currently, high school students and middle school students mainly do distance learning but do come into the schools for teacher support while elementary students do more of a hybrid model.

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