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Students, parents protest on first day of remote learning in Williamsville

Parents and students say the actions taken by the district and district leaders is unacceptable.

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. — Problems keep piling up for the Williamsville School District.

On the first day of total remote learning for grades 5 through 12 in the Williamsville School District, there was another round of protest and outcry against the district decision last week to eliminate the hybrid plan until perhaps sometime in January. 

Hundreds of students and some parents demonstrated their opposition outside the Williamsville School District headquarters on Casey Road. They criticized and questioned the roles of Acting Superintendent Dr. John McKenna, the school board, and Michelle Licht who is president of the Williamsville Teachers Association. 

The controversy began on Labor Day weekend when the board decided to place Superintendent Dr. Scott Martzloff on administrative leave because of insufficient teacher staffing.

Leaders of the student government at Williamsville North, Williamsville South, and Williamsville East high schools said there was a lack of communication and poor planning on the part of the district. They add that they cannot understand why other area districts have been able to successfully use hybrid learning with some limited in class instruction while Williamsville is unable to do so. 

They say many students are telling them they are not comfortable and cannot get enough out of online learning. 

District officials have said they are trying to work things out with various committees and that members of the school community should focus on moving forward. 

Some parents did contact 2 On Your Side to say they were pleased with the remote learning instruction on this first day and their children felt it worked well. 

We are told that some students are planning to protest again Wednesday at district headquarters and will do so until officials agree to return to the hybrid model.