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Protestors demonstrate against reopening schools in Knox County Saturday

Around 12 cars gathered Saturday morning and drove to Knox County Schools' headquarters to protest reopening schools.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A group of protesters gathered in downtown Knoxville Saturday morning to demonstrate against reopening schools in Knox County.

The "Demand Safe Schools Motor March" began around 11 a.m. Saturday. People gathered at St. James Episcopal Church. Around 12 cars gathered as well, and protestors decorated them with signs and window chalk before moving downtown.

The cars drove to Gay Street and circled the block, honking in front of the Knox County Schools headquarters.

"I support teachers, I support students and I support everybody who's concerned about a plan that doesn't take their safety and health into account," Cassie Watters said, a participant in the event.

Organizers said schools should not open in the county until research supports that students and staff will be safe. They also said schools should follow guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including lower class sizes, availability of PPE, cleaning and testing.

They also said students should have equitable access to online learning

The first day of school was delayed until Aug. 24 in Knox County, as the district considers a contract with a Florida school to help staff virtual classrooms.