JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Jeffco Public Schools announced the school district will transition to fully remote learning over the next few weeks due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Some families are asking them to reconsider. Many are worried their kids’ mental health might be at stake.
Lindsay Datko says remote learning, not COIVD-19, that’s having an impact on kids’ mental health.
“Depression, devastation, anxiety, isolation, and hopelessness are all a virus that is infecting our children,” Datko told CBS4’s Andrea Flores.
Datko, an educator and Jeffco Public Schools parent, made a video and put it on YouTube to show how Colorado students are struggling while learning from home.
“It has exploded, and I was not surprised by it being an alarming video, but what did surprise me was everyone saying, ‘This is exactly the experience we are having,’” said Datko. “They showed gratitude for that video because they no longer felt alone, and no longer felt like they were failing their children.”
Datko started a group called Jeffco: Choice for In-Person Learning. It now has more than 800 members. They’ve combined forces with CO District Educational Alliance: Choice for In-Person Learning.
Thousands of teachers and families from six metro area school districts belong to the group. The support includes people from Adams 12, Boulder Valley, Denver, Jefferson County, Douglas County, and St. Vrain school districts.
“We have doctors, nurses, frontline workers, teachers, principals, parents, and everyone who is a stakeholder, coming together to say our children need to be in school,” said Datko. “Developmental windows close every single day, so everyday matters, every week matters, and every opportunity for in person learning matters,” she said.