CVUSD Decision Faces

Student Backlash

By Makayla Richardson (12)

A recent vote from the board of the Chino Valley Unified School District has deemed it safe for students from kindergarten to sixth grade to return to in-person schooling. With the reinstatement of on-campus classes in junior high and high school on the horizon, some do not believe it is the right decision. Students of the senior class from Ayala have begun a petition to stop the reopening of schools. 

 

These retorts follow “CVUSD Zoom Blackout” that took place on February 23rd where parents and students alike staged a protest in front of the district building during school hours. The protests were to support students in high school to return to physical schooling as soon as possible. “We can no longer sit by and wait for CTA to make more excuses to keep our schools closed,” announced on the Instagram page @cvparents. This page organized the blackout, and in the same post, promised to protest “for as many days as it takes” until the district decided to let students on campus. 

 

It was in the comments of a post from this Instagram page where some problems arose. Under a picture showing protestors bearing signs, students began to share their opinions on the matter. While some expressed their support for the actions, others condemned it. For the latter group, a number of their comments were being deleted by the admin of the account, while others were being ridiculed and mocked by fellow students. 

 

Senior Amira Doromal experienced both of these. “I find it wholly unacceptable and immature of the account to delete my comments stating factual evidence from the CDC. For them to block me proves how close-minded and hypocritical those adults are as they are so quick to claim that they support the students of CVUSD yet silence me because I pointed out the flaws in their reasoning. What disappoints me is how I was targeted not just by the adults who run the account, but students from our school,” said Doromal. Students made demeaning statements in response to her comment, saying “she can stay home and draw anime in her closet.”

 

When faced with these hurtful words, she stayed calm and collected. “Rather than having a civil debate regarding the matter, they chose to criticize my hobbies because they cannot create a valid argument themselves,” she said. Though she has not been treated kindly by these individuals, she sympathizes with them. “I hope that soon they will realize their immaturity and grow from this experience.” 

 

A group of Ayala seniors are actively voicing their opposition of an in-person return on their own accounts as well. Seniors Carys John and Ethan Alcaide are both contributing significantly toward this movement. John began a petition for the district to stay distanced.

 

“Parents within this community are not understanding what we are asking for,” she explained in an Instagram post, “We are not asking to guilt trip the school board into rushing reopenings. We are asking you to take the pandemic seriously so that we might be able to see normal life sooner.” 

 

Alcaide posted a video of himself expressing his support for her petition, emphasizing that students’ “voices should be heard” and “will be heard.” As of the first eight hours it was posted, the petition has gained two hundred signatures and over eight pages of student statements from attendees of Chino, Chino Hills, and Ayala High School, solidifying the notion that this is a district-wide issue. 

 

Other students, like Sean Goossesns, another senior from Ayala, believes that it should be up to the individual. “I believe students should be the ones to decide whether or not they return. Some students either cannot return to school or are unwilling to take the risk of returning. However, for those who wish to return and are willing to take the risk, they should be allowed to return.” 

 

The presence of this petition and the recent protests have sparked a conversation in every students’ home, leading them to feel the desire to either pick sides or stay neutral in this dispute. In the coming months, it is unclear whether these actions will change the decision made by the school board, or further reinforce it.

 

“I’m not sure what we will do. I just want to make sure they know we exist and should have a say in the conversation,” said John. But one thing is for certain, with support for each side quickly mounting, this powder keg could create more conflicts leading up to the expected reopening of campuses in the coming weeks. 

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