Advocate: Mothers Reported To DCF Over Child’s Remote School Participation

WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) —An education advocate says least five mothers in Worcester have received a notice from the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families because their children failed to log onto remote classes regularly.

Schools in Massachusetts switched to remote learning earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“To charge a parent with abandonment, or with not doing their school work, when the Worcester Public Schools themselves were ill-prepared for what was coming, I think it’s not taking into consideration the disparities between different students,” Nelly Medina, an organizer with the Worcester Education Justice Alliance, said. “There’s some households where they know how to use computers and the bandwidth is really huge. But, there are other families where the English is not there and some parents need help even turning on a computer. I think it was kind of predatory.”

The Boston Globe reports that minority communities in poor neighborhoods are most affected by these kind of referrals. It’s not just in Worcester. Similar incidents have happened in Haverhill, Springfield, and Lynn.

DCF told the Globe it does not track these referrals. And the Worcester Public Schools superintendent said no student is referred to DCF only because they did not log onto remote school regularly.

WBZ NewsRadio's Art Cohen (@artcohenboston) reports

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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