MONTCLAIR, N.J. – A group of families from Essex County and surrounding areas plan to mark the anniversary of one year of remote learning with a protest in Montclair against the continued full or partial closure of their local schools and to demand that school districts and politicians put children first, and get them back into the classroom five days a week.
Nearly 80% of New Jersey’s schools have reopened for in-person learning, either hybrid or full-time, and more are opening or expanding in-person instruction every week. Yet, a number of New Jersey school districts including Montclair have remained completely online since schools were closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic.
Parents who have organized the protest on Saturday want to the harm caused by continued remote learning, citing children who are failing to learn; and how those with IEP’s and learning disabilities are not getting the support they need. They also raise concerns about an increase in childhood depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
The organizers state that while Montclair remains remote, many neighboring towns have reopened schools for in person learning, including Glen Ridge, Livingston, Cedar Grove and Verona.
The protest will take place Saturday, March 13, at 1:30 p.m. at Rand Park (at Chestnut Street and North Fullerton Ave.) in Montclair. Organizers ask that participants arrive masked and be prepared to socially distance.