Viral Photo Shows Salinas Children Using Taco Bell WiFi to Do Homework
A photograph of two children sitting outside of a Salinas Taco Bell went viral last week after it was revealed they were using the restaurant’s Wi-Fi to complete their online homework. There has perhaps never been an image that so succinctly symbolizes America’s digital divide.
This is in Salinas, CA— just south of the Bay Area. Small children sitting outside a Taco Bell to be able to get WiFi so they can attend school. When we think about remote learning, we need to stop thinking of it through the lens of people with money and safe housing. pic.twitter.com/bLU1kIR9D7— Stephanie Hurlburt (@sehurlburt) August 26, 2020
After seeing the heart-wrenching image, Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo spoke out.
“California is the technology capital of the world, this is an embarrassment," he told CNN. "Salinas Valley is 45 minutes from Silicon Valley and here we have such a huge divide that's gone on for years but now it's only amplified because of this pandemic."
The Salinas City Elementary School District also responded. School officials say they immediately reached out to the family and equipped them with hotspots so that the children can access the internet from home.
Racial and economic disparities in digital access have existed for years. They were exacerbated by the pandemic, which forced most schools to switch to remote, online learning.
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