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New York City Public Schools Parents At Odds As Group Demands In-Person Learning Only

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There's a tug of war between parents concerned about how COVID-19 will impact New York City schools in September.

There are those calling for a remote learning option and those who want full-time, in-person learning, CBS2's Andrea Grymes reported Wednesday.

It all comes amid growing concerns over the Delta variant.

On Wednesday, a virtual hearing was held at Manhattan Supreme Court Downtown where parents demanded no virtual learning at all in September. They filed a lawsuit - calling for full-time, in-person learning for all students - against the city in May.

Natalya Murakhver, a mother from the Upper West Side, helped spearhead the litigation.

"The judge accepted the city's word that they would reopen all public schools for pre-K through 12th grade full-time, in-person with teachers in every classroom for every, single student in New York City," Murakhver said.

She said they're taking the city's word for it, too.

Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated his position during his daily news conference when Grymes asked him about the hearing.

"We're bringing all our kids back, and we can do that in a safe way and a way that's really going to help them," de Blasio said.

The New York City Department of Education said there are no plans to offer remote learning in September, despite concerns about the COVID-19 Delta variant.

A spokesperson cited the CDC, saying that students benefit from in-person instruction.

Still, parents like Farah Despeignes from the Bronx are pushing for a remote option.

"The schools in the Bronx are also overcrowded and co-located. So you have so many issues going on in the schools that parents, at this point, it's like, 'You know what? Give me a remote option and let me control the health and the safety of my children,'" Despeignes said.

On Tuesday, because of the Delta variant, the CDC updated it school guidance to recommend everyone inside schools wear masks regardless of vaccination status in order for all students to return to in-person learning safely.

The CDC said close to 43% of 12 to 17-year-olds nationwide have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Nearly 34% are fully vaccinated.

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