PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – With the new school year rapidly approaching, teachers and parents in Pasco County, Florida are pleading to Pasco County School Board Members to reconsider original reopening plans. The School Board as responded with a list of detailed safety measures.
CW44’s Andrea Alvarez reports several teachers took the podium yesterday at the board meeting with one simple message, ‘We are not in a position to open!’ One of the teachers elaborated, “I believe this is the wrong conversation for you all to be having today. Here in Pasco County, the plan to return to brick and mortar instruction ignores the recommendations of our nations tops public health officials.”READ MORE: Olivia Newton-John, known for her role in 'Grease' and hit song 'Physical,' dies at 73
Pasco County teachers are set to return to the classroom on August 17, 2020 and students on August 24. Amy Monroe of Pasco County Schools says, “We’ve got a staffing shortage as it is. We’re covering each other’s classes as it is last year and we can’t afford to do this.”
Five year staff member of the district, Jeremy Blythe stood with several other teachers to speak out against the board’s move to bring students back into brick and mortar classrooms so soon. “We are not in a position where we should be opening schools for face-to-face instruction. COVID-19’s transmission may not be visible, but its physical and mental effects certainly are. We must put our children’s lives first, not politics, not money, not power.”READ MORE: Father and son sentenced to life in prison for federal hate crimes in Ahmaud Arbery's killing
According to the school board, more than 66% of parents who responded to a survey said they want their child to return to traditional face-to-face learning. Kurt Browning, Superintendent of Pasco Co. Schools said there is a lack of flexibility in the district’s decision-making process, point out, “The fact remains that when you read the emergency order, it is very clear that funding is tied to the fact that school districts need to open with bricks and mortar.” The Executive Order that Browning referred to states that brick and mortar reopening must occur five days a week and cannot be split up.
For further details and information, you can visit Pasco School’s website.
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