Camas, WA — Supporters of the Open Camas Schools movement are meeting at Doc Harris Stadium Monday at 6 pm to rally and have a car parade through Camas neighborhoods.
“We believe that Camas Schools need to open sooner than later as there are many more factors that need to be taken into consideration, not just COVID-19,” said Bill Criddle, a concerned Camas parent. “As more and more information comes about we see a potential rise in mental illness, depression, suicide and abuse just to name a few. All of these need to be considered by the Camas School Board not just cases of COVID-19. We understand the seriousness of the virus but know that protocols can be put in place to keep students and staff safe.”
Organizers ask that all participants wear face coverings and follow COVID-19 safety protocols.
“It is hard to know what the physical support will be but we anticipate that we will have more than 25 cars,” said Criddle. “I would love to see 100+ cars but I am realistic to know that not everyone wants to get out on a rainy evening and drive through town.”
He added: “We want the school board to know that the community expects them to do what is best for the students in all facets, not just virus prevention. We want them to know that their current system is failing our students and our teachers.”
Camas Superintendent Dr. Jeff Snell said the schools will follow Clark County Public Health guidelines for school openings. Camas schools currently have about 350 students in the classroom.
Snell said the schools will open to a hybrid model when the county hits the moderate range (25-75 COVID cases per 100,000 residents). Currently the county is at 95.6 cases per 100,000, with 169 active cases. There are 25 COVID hospitalizations.
The Open Camas Schools Facebook page has more than 800 members. The page founders seek compromise with the school district to get students in the classroom as soon as possible.