STRATFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Teachers in Connecticut are demanding change and action, calling for schools to move fully remote after Thanksgiving as the state sees COVID-19 cases rising.
Dozens of educators were lined out along Main Street in Stratford on Monday masked and bundled up, saying there really is not much that can deter them from the belief that they should move back to remote learning. Many are citing the high spike in COVID cases. Not just in Stratford, but across the state.
“Nothing would please me more than to be able to teach my kids in person but the fact remains that our case rates climbing,” Kristen Reckord, Vice President for Secondary Schools for the Stratford Association.
But state leaders remain locked into its position that in-person learning is the best option right now.
“Decisions have been made based on the local factors around when to close schools,” said Miguel Cardona, Education Commissioner. “I don’t know that one universal number is the best way to approach it. In some places, the community spread is greater than other cases. We know there’s no replacement for in-person learning, and those efforts will continue.”
Efforts, teachers in Stratford said, that are just not safe enough.
“They’re emphasizing the importance of students having in-person instruction and we as teachers understand that, we love our kids, we want our kids to learn as best we can but we want ourselves to be safe as well,” Bill Fiorello, President, Stratford Education Association.
“Here in Stratford, where we are already above 40 for our case rate and the State Department of Education’s own guidelines say once you hit 25 or more, you should think about pulling back,” Reckord said.
This is why the Connecticut Education Association is making these demands to go all remote after Thanksgiving.
“You need to consider some length of time after Thanksgiving and the winter break to go all remote,” Jeff Leake, President, Connecticut Education Association. “Give everyone a chance to figure out if they have the virus, whether they caught it somewhere where they went and go that way and in between make sure districts are making the best decisions for everyone.”
“We want to get back to a time when we are able to see them on a more regular basis in-person but that time just isn’t right now.”
Teachers in Stratford were also pretty fired up about the governor’s comments where he claimed school classrooms were the safest place to be. Many of them telling News 8 it is not a risk they want to take and hope state leaders consider their plea.