Parents slammed the Los Angeles Unified School district after kids were seen on campus for a commercial shoot for Apple TV during the pandemic.
With most schools remaining closed in southern California during the coronavirus outbreak, parents became upset after seeing children at Kester Avenue Elementary School in Sherman Oaks during a shoot for an advertisement, according to ABC7.com in a piece published Thursday.
Not only were the actors on a closed campus, some were reportedly seen not wearing masks nor social distancing despite the fact students have remained at home for almost a year during the pandemic. (RELATED: 102-Year-Old Italian Woman Makes Miraculous Coronavirus Recovery After 20-Day Hospitalization)
At a time when kids haven’t been on any LAUSD campus since closing nearly a year ago due to the pandemic, a public elementary school in Sherman Oaks was captured Wednesday bustling with kids and adults for an alleged shoot for an Apple TV show.https://t.co/In3UWCD0T5
— KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO (@KNX1070) February 3, 2021
“California has its priorities completely backwards,” parent Jenny Hontz shared with the outlet. “The fact that LAUSD says it’s safe to have kids working on campus to film for Apple TV, but they can’t have the highest-needs kids with disabilities on campus to receive their federally mandated services and they’re saying that’s not safe? That makes no sense.” (RELATED: 106-Year-Old Woman Beats Coronavirus In Britain, Discharged From Hospital)
“About three-fourths of parents said their kids were regressing to the point of self-harm,” she added of keeping special needs kids at home instead of back at school. “We have parents telling us absolutely horrible stories about their kids hitting themselves, hitting their parents, screaming every time they try to sign them onto Zoom. These kids are suffering and they’re not able to get an education on the screen.”
Loads of kids on campus today at Kester Ave. elementary doing a shoot for Apple TV. So it’s unsafe to have kids w/ disabilities on @LASchools campuses for vital services & education, but it’s safe to have them working there? @lapublichealth #openschools pic.twitter.com/5BwGxho9ll
— Speak UP (@SpeakUpParents) February 3, 2021
Hontz is the communications director for a parents organization called Speak Up that focuses on “engaging, educating and activating parents to advocate for excellent, equitable public education at schools, in communities and at the ballot box.”
The piece noted that the rules for filming are different than ones currently in place for getting schools open, with the production crews mandated to follow strict guidelines and have a compliance officer on set.
“Los Angeles Unified is working to bring students back to schools as soon as possible, and in the safest way possible…State rules currently allow filming at schools even though those same schools do not meet the state rules to reopen,” a statement from LAUSD read.
In fall of 2020, Los Angeles officials decided that a small number of kids with extreme special needs could return to school, but when the number of coronavirus cases increased over the winter, the LAUSD put a stop to that plan.