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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – A Facebook group made up of parents who want in-person learning available for their children held a rally Monday outside the Cleveland Catholic Diocese.

“I miss seeing my teachers and friends,” St. Angela Merici student Kealey Campbell said. “I think going back would make it easier to learn new stuff in-person.”

According to a news release from the Diocese of Cleveland sent out last week, all of the schools are offering both in-person and remote learning options to parents.

“Just to let the Diocese know we support them,” said Pat Kennedy, whose daughter attends Magnificat. “They’re getting a lot of pressure, I’m sure, from outside agencies telling them they should shut down.”

The rally was held as Diocese of Cleveland Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank O’Linn planned to hold a virtual meeting with Catholic school principals Monday afternoon.

O’Linn said they planned to discuss the Cuyahoga County Board of Health’s recent recommendation that schools start the year with remote instruction only and that all in-person athletics and extracurricular activities be canceled.

“I’m grateful for this show of support, that you trust your Catholic schools, that you trust your local leaders,” O’Linn told those gathered at the rally.

O’Linn said the diocese is leaving the decision on whether to offer in-person instruction to each of its 108 schools, which serve nearly 40,000 students across eight counties. 65 of the schools are in Cuyahoga County.

“There won’t be a mandate from us that each school need to be remote, because there’s not a mandate as there was in the spring,” O’Linn said.

He said that most schools have pushed back their start dates for the upcoming school year, but all were planning to offer in-person instruction as of Monday.

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