TPS Parents Organize Rally To Push For Students’ Return To Class

Tuesday, September 29th 2020, 9:14 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

TULSA, Okla. -

Many Tulsa Public Schools parents are organizing a rally for Monday to demand the district let students go back to class in-person.

They’ve created a petition online with nearly 3,000 signatures so far. Some of the parents demanding change said the goal of their rally is to show district leaders just how many parents want their kids to go back to school.

"On a good day it's frustrating, and on a bad day its mind boggling," said Amanda Neely.

 In Amanda Neely's kitchen classroom, her three kids, in kindergarten, 3rd and 5th grade have headphones on and materials sprawled across the kitchen table

"We can do it for a period of time, yes, but it's unsustainable for the long haul," said Neely.

Neely helped start a group on Facebook called TPS Parents for Choice. She's also helping organize a rally on Monday. She hopes show of numbers will force the school board to listen.

"It has been rough they don't have the attention span for it, they're only five," said Ashley Blade-Martin.

At Blade-Martin's home, five-year-old twins Alfonso and Ariana let off some steam after a long day of learning.

"Everybody wants to have a choice to do what feels right for their family," she said.

Blade-Martin is a Tulsa ICU nurse and says kids are at lower risk of getting others sick. She said it's time to go back to school. So does Danny Daniels, and his son Hastings, in 4th grade.

"TPS should be leading the charge in all of this, not standing back and watching and waiting," Daniels said.

Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist is expected to make her recommendation to the school board on Monday on what to do after the first nine weeks of keeping classes virtual. All three parents, plan to rally to show Gist and school board members how they feel about distance learning.

"We are not going to stop. Parents aren't going to stop wanting the best for their children," said Daniels.

The rally is 4 p.m. at the Education Service center on Monday. The school board will vote mid-October about the second quarter of school.