Teachers raise concerns about returning to the classroom

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ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – The Ector County TSTA put out a survey for educators to hear their thoughts when it comes to returning to the classroom. They received nearly 350 different concerns and 70% of their members do not want to return to in-person learning in August.

Sheena Salcido, the Ector County TSTA Secretary said, “The choice was literally lose your career or potentially get a deadly virus and that’s an unfair position to put any of our staff members in and it’s an unfair position to put any of ur parents in, our parents shouldn’t have to make those decisions.”

In less than one month ECISD teachers are due back in the classroom. Something that has many teachers, like Sheena Salcido, concerned as COVID-19 cases rise across the Permian Basin.

“Data by our science and our medical community need to be leading these decisions. There will be public pressure and we understand that but our students need us to stand up for them,” said Salcido.

The teacher said it is not a question of ‘if staff or kids get coronavirus’ but ‘when.’ Leaving many educators with real concerns like; what if they run out of leave? What happens when cases spike? How will ECISD ensure buildings are sanitized adequately after COVID-19 exposure? What about bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and other staff who have no choice but to expose their loved ones to a deadly virus?

The Ector County TSTA Secretary said, “You’re children that’s all you have that’s your heart that’s who you are and how do we say ‘well if they get sick it’s inevitable, it’s going to happen’ we cannot be cavalier about these concerns.”

Adding the right answer is online learning and the district should re-direct funds to ensuring broadband and Wi-Fi for all kids regardless of their socio-economic status.

“This is where we are asking for our community to step up. To step into these stakeholder positions and understand that these students will be your employees someday. We have some of the largest oil field companies in the world here why can’t we ask and expect them to step up, help our kids get this internet access that they need,” said Salcido.

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