Smithtown parents rally for 5-day in-person classes per week
It isn't the first time parents have rallied outside the doors of the Smithtown Central School District's headquarters. For the fourth time in a month, moms and dads, some with their children, rallied to demand answers for their kids.
"This situation, this lack of ability to handle a crisis situation has brought to light that our leadership is inept," explained Jennifer Cuomo, a parent in the district.
Parents, the district and their Board of Education all say they want the same thing, kids in the classroom five days a week. Parents say though that there is no plan to make it happen.
Mother of incoming third and fifth-graders, Stacey Murphy said, "The governor can do it for the whole state of NY, how come the board of ed, the administration, our town do it here?"
Parents wanted to speak directly to the board, as they used to pre-pandemic, but were told it could not happen at Thursday's meeting because of health and safety concerns.
"They are not listening to the parents. They will not talk to us. There are so many important questions that have completely gone unanswered. I sent an email two weeks ago and still haven't gotten a response," shared Liz Brenner.
As a teacher in another district, Brenner understands better than most the need for face time with students.
"The in person help—you know, it's priceless," she said.
She's still figuring out how she'll make it work this fall as she works full-time.
She added, "I have three kids, three different schedules, all different grade levels. He needs to learn how to read. It's going to be overwhelming."
Child care, safety and quality of education are just a few of the reasons parents are demanding a timeline, and until they get it, they'll continue to rally on the sidewalks of Main Street in Smithtown.
Cuomo explained, "We are in it for the long haul. We are going to rally our community and stay the course with making sure our children are educated in the best possible way."
News 12 Long Island reached out to both the Board of Education and the district. Neither have responded to interview requests.