Coronavirus is feared for protests, dismissal and retirement of teachers

Teachers in the US are protesting, calling sick, quitting or retiring early, instead of returning to classrooms during a pandemic that kills more than a thousand Americans every day.

Some of the country’s largest school systems, including in Chicago and Los Angeles, choose to remain closed this fall for personal instruction. But others teamed up with getting students to the class. Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi and Tennessee are one of the states where schools began to open, mostly in the suburbs and rural areas.

But the opening has not all gone smoothly, and teachers and their unions are making plans that they do not feel their safety in mind.

The 1.7 million American Federation of Teachers calls for “safety strikes” if teachers are not protected, while the Florida State Education Association is asking a court to overturn a state order mandating schools to physically open five days a week or cut the risk of their financing.

How to open schools amid pandemic


In Utah, plans to return to classes in person have required at least 79 educators to resign or retire early across Salt Lake County, which has seen the most cases of coronavirus in the state.

Jan Roberts, a third-grade teacher, is one of those who packs it. In addition to caring for herself and her students, Roberts, 54, worries about bringing the virus to her older father and young daughter. “We’re just told to jump in because nothing’s wrong,” Roberts told the Salt Lake Tribune. “It’s not OK.”

The choice not to return to class is heartbreaking for Roberts and others, including Heidi Hisrich, a 42-year-old teacher at Richmond High School in Richmond, Indiana, who is retiring “dreamjob” instead of resume person classes in the fall.

“I’m leaving the class I was in school for 13 years, so I expected to stay until I retired,” she recently told CBS MoneyWatch. “I thought I would be there another 15 to 20 years.”

When Hisrich quit on July 18, her school planned to run a full schedule at capacity, meaning Hisrich would see as many as 150 students. It was not clear if masks would be required, or even if protection would be provided. Some of those concerns appear to have been addressed in a plan that was revised four days later.

Kelly Treleaven, who teaches high school English in the Houston, Texas area, asks how many teachers will be around if they are forced to return to class amid an even more intense pandemic.

State leaders “already ignore teacher management for buildings without black mold crawling out of ceiling tiles, for sensible gun legislation, and for salaries we can live on without having to take on two to three additional part-time jobs,” she wrote in an essay published Monday in the New York Times.

The virus addresses a shortage of teachers already in play, well before the coronavirus’s rampage across the US began, with states lowering qualifications to teach to replace those who are away for higher pay and benefits, noted Treleaven.

“We are on the verge of getting a lot less,” she added.

Schools are struggling to reopen amid COVID


Treleaven’s controversy is expressed in a 2016 report by the Institute for Learning Policy, which found that when school districts re-rented after years of layoffs during the Great Recession, many “had serious difficulty finding qualified teachers for them. positions. ”

Within three weeks after the first school districts in Tennessee reopened, more than a few had to have a backtrack. At least 25 school districts in the state have closed schools as schedules have changed due to exposures to the virus, according to the Tennessean. Roughly 110 school districts had started the school year as of August 13 – the majority personally – and at least 97 COVID-19 cases have been reported to schools so far, the newspaper reported.

Teachers at Gwinnett County Public Schools, Georgia’s largest school district, returned to work in the fall to prep for personal learning to fire 260 ward staff because of positive test results as well as exposure to those who had. The schools opened last week for online learning, while offering a fragmented transition to instruction for individuals for families who want it.

Classes were canceled Monday through Wednesday at the JO Combs Unified School District in East Valley, Arizona, after a number of teachers made it clear they would not appear again.

“As we continue to work on this matter, we will continue to receive a full volume of staff,” district officials wrote in a statement released on Tuesday. The ward will hold a school board meeting Wednesday night to discuss “next steps.”

JO Combs was among a handful of Arizona districts that were scheduled to reopen Monday for personal classes, according to the Republic of Arizona. Although COVID-19 cases appear to be lower, the state still does not meet the recommended benchmarks set by its leaders, the newspaper reported.

Teachers in dozens of school districts pasted their cars as they protested against plans by some U.S. drivers to resume classroom instruction during the coronavirus. The horn-honking by educators in cities including Chicago, Milwaukee and Philadelphia came in the afternoon of demands that instructions be offered online until tests show that classrooms are safe and districts hire more nurses.

The Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association, which represents representatives of public schools throughout the state, posted pictures on social media of cardboard tombstones built by Protestants, adorned with messages such as “RIP Grandma Caught COVID to Help Older Children with Homework.” “

In Minnesota’s Hennepin County, dozens of teachers parked their cars outside Osseo Area Schools headquarters last Thursday, according to a local news release. One sign that treats a window bites an edict popular with the club: “Stay online until COVID takes off.”