Students access their online lessons while spaced apart in the King City High School parking lot to bring attention to their wish to return to classrooms. (Sean Roney/Staff)

KING CITY — Students gathered in the parking lot of King City High School on Oct. 27 and 28 to bring attention to a desire to return to classrooms for their education rather than continue distance learning.

Some attendees planned to remain in their parked cars, while others sat spaced apart in chairs, all using laptops or mobile devices with school Wi-Fi to attend their online classes.

“We want to be back in school, and we are 100% willing to comply with the current rules we are all used to during the pandemic,” said Boston Monroy, a senior at KCHS.

Monroy noted students are willing to wear masks, practice social distancing, have no physical contact and frequently clean and sanitize.

“They had signs expressing their desire to get back to school, there were signs that they missed their teachers,” said Brian Walker, superintendent for South Monterey County Joint Union High School District, which oversees both King City and Greenfield high schools. “They were obviously fulfilling their civic privilege.”

Monroy cited the more than 500 students enrolled in Future Farmers of America at KCHS, as well as the numerous students in sports and other clubs offered at the campus during normal school years.

“I wish to get back to our activities as well as attending Salinas Valley Fair with our animals and projects, and I know the rest of the school would love the same,” Monroy said.

Walker said he and the students had a conversation, during which they asked questions and were respectful in their discussion.

“We had a good conversation about what they were doing and where we were in terms of the pandemic,” he said. “It’s good to see the students sharing their opinions and letting us know.”

Walker said the student demonstration was a “teachable moment” and he held a civics lesson with the gathered students. He said he brought donuts to them on one of the mornings and the district made sure to make restrooms and water available to the students when needed.

“We love our community and we can’t wait to be active again, of course with the practice of social distancing,” Monroy said.

The high school district is currently in full distance learning, as are most districts in Monterey County while the region remains in the purple tier — the most restrictive tier, in terms of the reopening schedule.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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