A group calling itself the “Red Apple Protest” kept its promise Monday morning (July 27) to appear outside West University ES to call for the reopening of school campuses — but was joined by unexpected counterprotesters.
A costumed “Grim Reaper” and another black-garbed, skeleton-masked figure stood alongside the Red Apple cluster carrying their own signs alluding to potential deaths from returning to classrooms. That led to an impromptu sign carried by the Red Apple organizer pointing at them, embellished with an American flag, and proclaiming “THEY ARE NOT WITH US!!!”
Christine Flood appeared on ABC-13 last week to promote her group favoring a return to in-person instruction and what she said would be weekly protests outside WUES on Monday mornings.
Other West U parents with opposing views quickly reacted to what they felt was an impression that Flood represented the community’s sentiments, but especially bristled at one of her remarks:
“Virtual teaching is only half the job, so it will only be half the pay or less because parents are giving up their time that could be spent otherwise at work,” she said.
Allison Zapata, a WUES parent, went on the news the following night to counter Flood’s remarks, and this weekend, in anticipation of the Red Apple action on Monday, organized a “Love Bomb” project to create signs supporting WUES teachers that were placed along the fence leading to the school’s main entrance.
The Red Apple group appeared to avoid having those signs as a backdrop for their protest, which lasted about two hours. Its social media accounts promise a “weekly protest until school reopens.”
West U Elementary and all Houston ISD schools will reopen for online learning only from Sept. 8 through at least Oct. 16.