LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. - The debate rages over returning to school. A few teachers in Loudoun County held a rally to amplify their concerns because they do not believe it is not safe. Loudoun Education Association President, Sandy Sullivan, said teachers are feeling ignored.
“We feel like our voices have not fully been heard and we need to make sure that what we have in place in the buildings is safe for everyone; safe for the students, the educators, and the families back home,” said Sullivan.
The Loudoun Education Association (LEA) wrote a letter to the school board demanding answers about safety strategies and cleaning procedures. The association also claims protocols are not being consistently practiced or enforced.
FOX 5’s Sierra Fox questioned school board member Ian Serotkin about the issues raised.
“We’re certainly doing our best to try to listen to the concerns the LEA educators and do what we can to address their concerns. With 95 schools and more work sites than that, it’s certainly a challenging situation for everyone to make sure that we’re putting the appropriate safety protocols in place and making sure they’re followed appropriately at all of our work sites,” said Serotkin.
A small crowd of educators gave speeches during the rally on Saturday evening outside the Loudoun County Public Schools Administration Building. Some staff who are deemed high-risk claim they are being forced on site for in-person instruction.
Special Education teacher, Steven Meyer, who falls into that category said it is important for him to be able support his students and he can’t afford to get sick.
“There is no replacement for us based upon the skills we have required in this very difficult time. A substitute can’t handle it,” said Meyer.
Back on Nov. 10, the school board voted unanimously to expand the hybrid implementation model so students in third to fifth grade to get back to the classroom on Dec. 1.
For more details, visit the school's website.
FOX 5 reached out to Loudoun County Public School PIO Wayde Byard who said as the coronavirus pandemic continues, they are prepared to pivot and make changes on a moment’s notice.