Ector County teachers taking precautions for new school year


ODESSA, Texas ( Big 2/ Fox 24) – There is a growing debate on whether it’s safe to send students back to school in person this fall.

Veronica Valdez, who has taught art at Ector County ISD for two years said she loves being with her students. But as COVID-19 cases continue to grow locally, she doesn’t want to put her students’ health at risk.

“As things stand now, I do not think is safe to go back to school in person,” Valdez said. “We don’t know how it affects younger people, older people, we don’t know what the long term effects are
so you know it’s just better to be safe than sorry.”

Even though COVID-19 poses a threat to the school year, Valdez said she hopes to return to the classroom in person in the future.

“Do I want to go back in person? Absolutely,” Valdez said. “Especially as an art teacher, it is very difficult to do art projects electronically.”

But by putting students back in the classroom this fall, Valdez said it will be difficult to have them social distance.

“I know how the kids are,” Valdez said. “They don’t have the kind of self-control that it takes to sit still and just to stay in the one little cubical that they’re going to have, they just don’t.”

While the district is giving the option to attend to class in person, Christy Patrick said she plans to go back to school in person and it’s possible to get students to follow safety guidelines.

“Kids are teachable, they are mold-able,” Patrick said. “They are going to do whatever they’re teachers asks, for the most part. If you know you look at it from a safety point of view, I think the kids will defiantly adhere to that.”

And while COVID-19 is still active, Patrick said she trusts her district will keep herself and her students safe this year.

“I’m ready to be back with my kids, I’m ready to be with my co-workers,” Patrick said. “I know that the district, the teachers, the staff, that they have the safety of our kids at their top priority.”

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