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Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

Car Parade In Rockford Against Schools Reopening

Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco
Car from School Personnel Parade

In Rockford, a parade of cars filled the streets for a demonstration against schools reopening during the pandemic. Quetzia Ramirez is a parent liaison at Jefferson High School and her sign read, "25+ Students In One Classroom Cannot Social Distance."

Credit Juanpablo Ramirez-Fraco
Quetzia Ramirez Hold Her Sign at the Car Parade

The car parade began at 10:00 a.m. at Rock Valley College and included upwards of 50 cars. The cars were covered in signs and writing that expressed concern with schools reopening in the fall. Ramirez said that’s why she joined the car parade in the first place. 



"As an educator, they're supposed to trust you to teach them the right information to succeed in life," said Ramirez. "So if they trust us enough to help them succeed in life, shouldn't they trust us enough to keep them safe in any circumstance?"

This week, Rockford Public Schools is launching an electronic survey asking parents and guardians to choose between in-person schooling and remote learning. The survey will be emailed on Wednesay, July 29 and the deadline to submit responses will be Aug 3rd.

  • Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for Americaan initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.
Juanpablo covers environmental, substandard housing and police-community relations. He’s been a bilingual facilitator at the StoryCorps office in Chicago. As a civic reporting fellow at City Bureau, a non-profit news organization that focuses on Chicago’s South Side, Ramirez-Franco produced print and audio stories about the Pilsen neighborhood. Before that, he was a production intern at the Third Coast International Audio Festival and the rural America editorial intern at In These Times magazine. Ramirez-Franco grew up in northern Illinois. He is a graduate of Knox College.