Some school teachers in Connecticut won’t be returning to the classroom in the fall, even if in-person learning is cleared to resume amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Currently, Connecticut is considering three levels for reopening: a full reopening with all students in school five days a week, a hybrid plan where some students attend in-person and some do distance learning, and full distance learning, with guidance expected from the state in the coming weeks.
However, some teachers are showing reluctance to return to the classroom and have joined the “Refuse to Return” movement, which is nearing 50,000 signatures on a change.org petition.
“We are educators, administrators, school support staff, students, parents, guardians, and concerned individuals,” organizers of the petition stated. “We refuse to return to campus this fall until our counties report no new cases of COVID-19 for at least 14 consecutive days.
“Let it be known that this is not simply a petition, but a statement of intent, a pledge not to return until it is safe.”
The teachers are demanding mass testing, contact tracing, mandatory face coverings, and suspension of all non-essential travel or business. They are also asking for economic relief to “implement the aforementioned public health measures.”
“Our elected officials have proven incapable of ending this pandemic by their own volition,” petitioners said. “They have chosen instead to acclimate Americans to the daily death of our neighbors so they can resume their fairy tales of economic growth.
“Therefore, it is our responsibility to exercise our power as workers to force our leaders to do what they have refused: end this pandemic.”
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