By Rachel Wulff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A New York Times article arguing about the need for students to return to the classroom is flying in the face of federal and state health experts.

The CDC has advised distance learning is the safest option amidst the coronavirus crisis. But a recent recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics isn’t giving that strategy high marks – saying there isn’t a lot of learning happening, and that it leads to behavioral health problems.

Clinical psychologist Erika Frieze isn’t surprised.

“I think it’s really affected their mental health, especially,” Frieze said.

She has three school-aged children herself and says the stress of distance learning has been almost a trauma for students and parents.

“I feel like we are trying to hold it together for our kids,” Frieze said.

Many agree and support reopening schools with modifications like social distancing, mask-wearing, and staggered class schedules.

“She is missing her friends, being outside, recess, art class, being together sharing thoughts,” said mother Larisa Remizov.

Remizov has a fifth and eighth-grader who miss physically seeing their friends.

“It makes me feel happier ‘cause my friend is always here for me and I am there for her,” said Abigail Remizov.

But there are those who say the social and emotional benefits do not outweigh the risk of spreading COVID-19.

“I think you should leave them closed because, let’s be honest, can you really trust a kindergartner to always wash their hands?” said Thomas Cay.

Frieze says parents should be given options as to what works best for each family-especially those with special needs.

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