SC teachers protest school reopenings in 'motor march'

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Hundreds of teachers drove past the South Carolina statehouse and governor's mansion Monday afternoon to protest the reopening of schools for in-person learning this fall.

Protesters from across the state wove through downtown Columbia in cars decorated with signs, calling on schools to start the academic year with virtual learning until teachers feel safe enough to return to their classrooms, news outlets reported.

That call is out of a concern for the safety of students, educators and staff amid the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers of the motor march said.

The public education group SC for Ed, which organized the protest, has recently criticized Gov. Henry McMaster after he urged schools to open for in-person instruction five days a week this fall.

School districts still have the flexibility to design their own reopening plans, which must be approved by the Department of Education.

On Monday, the department approved six of those plans, which had a range of in-person and virtual options for parents and students.

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