By CBSLA Staff

SHERMAN OAKS (CBSLA) – When a parent walked by Kester Avenue Elementary School Wednesday morning, she was shocked to see kids on campus despite the Los Angeles Unified School District keeping schools closed for instruction during the pandemic.

“Apparently, LAUSD is allowing dozens of kids on campus to work and do a shoot for Apple TV but they say it’s unsafe to have kids on campus to learn,” said Jenny Hontz. “What on Earth? This is completely insane!”

Hontz is a mom and the communications director for Speak UP, a Los Angeles grassroots parent organization. She said one of the parents that saw the show filming asked what was going on and couldn’t believe it.

“Parents are outraged by this,” said Hontz. “It’s absolutely clear that LAUSD has their priorities wrong.”

Hontz added parents don’t understand why the district and its employees can’t come to an agreement to open the schools back up.
“The district has universal testing and contact tracing in place. They have every safety measure in place that exceeds the CDC recommendations,” she said Wednesday. “What they don’t have is a decision to let these kids come back, and it’s crazy.”
But some parents said they understand why some schools can’t reopen yet.
“We are trying to make the best of it and we pray every day for those households that have essential workers in them,” said parent Jocelyn Crawford.
Hontz said it is more frustrating than ever to watch other school districts opening. She is concerned for students with special needs or disabilities that benefit more from in-person instruction.
“Not all families feel safe yet, but we need to give families that option and let’s get started,” said Hontz. “Let’s get started where we can. Let’s get kids with disabilities back, and get the youngest learners back.”
In a statement, the district said officials want to open schools as safely and quickly as possible.
Regarding the filming, the district said:
Filming on school district property is subject to state and county health standards, which are different than those which allow schools to provide in-person instruction. State rules currently allow filming at schools even though those same schools do not meet the state rules to reopen.