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California college students plan ‘strike’ except college meets their COVID calls for

Students in California’s Oakland Unified School District are demanding that better coronavirus safety measures be taken or they will “go on strike” and skip school until their demands are met.

The group of students issued a “district-wide petition” earlier this week demanding that OUSD either switch to distance learning or KN-95 or N-95 masks for all students, two weekly PCR and rapid tests for each person distributed on campus. and “More outdoor places to eat safely when it rains.”

Over 1,200 students have signed the petition, which gives the school until January 17 to meet their demands, or the students will “go on strike” and stay out of school from January 18 until their demands are met.

The students will then protest in front of the district office building from January 21st.

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A disinfection station is placed in Catherine Fletcher’s first-grade classroom on the first day of partial in-person instruction at Garfield Elementary School in Oakland, Calif. (Jessica Christian/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images).
((Jessica Christian/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images))

Around 52,000 OUSD schools attended in the 2020-2021 school year, according to the district.

According to the document, the petition is addressed to OUSD Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammel and school board members.

“With this letter we would like to inform you that OUSD students do not feel comfortable going to school in light of the rising cases of COVID-19. There are many concerns about safety measures and how we can protect ourselves from COVID-19, particularly the highly contagious Omicron variant. We must return to distance learning until cases start to go back up,” the petition reads. “To ensure a safe learning environment, we request you to give us KN95/N95 masks and weekly PCR tests. If these requirements are not met, we will go on strike by not going to school. We will strike until we get what we need, rest assured.”

In part, students claim in-person study is unsafe due to increased coronavirus cases, no access to N-95 masks, no weekly tests and classroom desks.

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Students at Carl B. Munck Elementary School while California Gov. Gavin Newsom visits their classroom on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 in Oakland, Calif. (Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

Students at Carl B. Munck Elementary School while California Gov. Gavin Newsom visits their classroom on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 in Oakland, Calif. (Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
((Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images))

OUSD communications director John Sasaki provided a statement to Fox News Digital, saying the district is “aware” of the petition and is working to honor most of the students’ demands.

“We share students’ concerns about the rise in Omicron cases of COVID-19. This concern is the reason why we have distributed KN-95 and N-95 masks to all employees. We have also ordered enough KN-95 masks for all students. They will be distributed to students as they are delivered. We have ordered deliveries for new covered dining areas to dozens of schools, including new tables and shade structures, in some cases since last summer and have significantly slowed down their delivery. Where deliveries have been made, our staff are already installing these structures in schools and this process will continue as we receive more deliveries,” the statement said.

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A teacher instructs her second graders before California Gov. Gavin Newsom visits the classroom at Carl B. Munck Elementary School in Oakland, Calif. on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 (Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images).

A teacher instructs her second graders before California Gov. Gavin Newsom visits the classroom at Carl B. Munck Elementary School in Oakland, Calif. on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 (Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images).
((Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images))

In response to student concerns about coronavirus testing, the district said testing is available at ten hubs in the school district.

Sasaki also said the school district has received 200,000 KN-95 masks and is distributing them to individual schools.

He added that OUSD had been in contact with the students who created the petition and said discussions were continuing.

“We also run weekly pooled tests at primary schools and have bi-weekly drop-in tests for our secondary schools. We already meet or are in the process of meeting most of the demands mentioned in this petition. And we will continue to work to fulfill the rest in the coming weeks,” the statement continued.

The relocation of students within the district comes after teachers conducted a “sickout” on Jan. 7.

Students across the country are also demanding their school district implement better coronavirus safety policies.

A group of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) high school students are planning to go on strike Friday, demanding that the Chicago Public Schools issue coronavirus “assistance grants” to students and switch to a distance learning format for two weeks.

Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report

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