LAUSD parents, students hold 'Zoom blackout' as protest to reopen schools

Some parents and students in the Los Angeles Unified School District held a "Zoom blackout" on Monday morning as part of a protest to reopen schools.

The message at Monday morning's protest was clear: They want to get students back into the classroom.

A flyer began circulating on social media last week, urging LAUSD parents not to have their children sign into their Zoom classroom on Monday and instead, walk with their kids to protest outside the federal building on Wilshire Blvd.

"Enough is enough! We can no longer sit by and wait for UTLA to come up with more excuses to keep our schools closed," the flyer for the protest reads.

The parents involved said they are fed up with the teacher's union's demands and refusal to reopen schools.

Students at the protest expressed the struggles they have faced with distance learning.

"In online school, it's really been hard to focus and have motivation to get on our Zooms every day and also study for tests," one LAUSD student told FOX 11's Sandra Endo. "What I want to do today is get everybody back in school, not just me but the little kids too because I feel like it's harder for them than me."

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While some schools around Los Angeles County are allowing students up to the sixth grade to return to campus, LAUSD remains closed to in-person learning, as the district's teachers' union demands teachers and staff get vaccinations before returning.

Schools got the option of returning to at least some form of in-person learning last week, after the county's rate of new COVID-19 infections dropped below the state's threshold for reopening campuses for students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.

Schools must meet a wide range of safety protocols before the can reopen to in-person learning.

In-person instruction has been unavailable to the vast majority of the roughly 1.5 million students in public and private schools countywide since March 2020, but the state permits elementary schools to reopen as soon as counties reach an adjusted average new daily case rate of 25 per 100,000 residents.

L.A. County met that threshold last Tuesday, when new state figures put the county's case average at 20 per 100,000 residents.

In-person classes cannot resume for grades seven through 12 until the county's rate of new COVID cases falls to seven per 100,000 residents.

On Monday, LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner announced the launch of "Daily Pass," the first comprehensive system in the nation that coordinates health checks, COVID-19 tests and vaccinations in one online tool.

The district called Daily Pass "a critical component of Los Angeles Unified's Safe Steps to Safe Schools' reopening plan.

RELATED: LAUSD announces app to coordinate COVID-19 factors in step toward reopening

"The Daily Pass sets the highest standard possible for school safety," said LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner. "MERV-13 upgraded air filters in every school, COVID testing for all students and staff at least every week and now the Daily Pass -- Los Angeles Unified is proud to lead the nation in creating the safest possible school environment."

CNS contributed to this report.