Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) students are threatening to boycott classes if the district chooses not to return to online classes or meet their demands for in-person schooling by Monday, The Washington Post reports.
Students are calling for more testing from the California district as well as KN95 masks and expanded outdoor space for lunchtime in order to continue with in-person classes.
An online petition written by OUSD students was signed more than 900 times as of Tuesday, according to the Post.
The petition reads: “There’s a lot of concerns regarding safety measures and how to protect us from COVID-19, especially the highly contagious Omicron variant. We must go back to distance learning until the cases go down again.”
Students plan to protest outside district headquarters if their demands are not met by Jan. 21.
The OUSD released a statement Tuesday in an apparent response to the petition, announcing that it distributed KN95 and N95 masks to all employees. It also ordered 200,000 KN95 masks for its 50,000 students.
The school district reported changes to “the physical safety features of its facilities,” including installing HEPA filters in each of its classrooms and cafeterias. The district also expanded outdoor dining access to allow for more social distancing.
The OUSD reportedly updated its COVID-19 protocols, including modified quarantine and testing practices. However, its testing policy does not meet the demands of students to provide testing at least twice a week.
As of late Tuesday, the students had not announced whether they would still boycott in light of these updates.
Students said in the petition that they will strike “until we get what we need to be safe.”