FALLS CHURCH, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - FOX 5 has learned some teachers may feel differently about getting back in the classroom and now, after weeks of union leaders guiding the conversation, they’re speaking out.
FOX 5’s Tisha Lewis spoke with some Fairfax County Public School teachers with years of experience who say they’re ready to get back in the classroom with or without the COVID-19 vaccine.
They go on to say mitigation measures work in keeping students and staff safe back in the classroom and expressed concerns about students’ mental health amid continued distance learning.
As you might imagine, it’s rare teachers will speak publicly against their union but here we are today.
Two of the FCPS teachers Lewis spoke with disagree with the unions' stance and say they’re not alone in wanting to return to the classroom and feel it can be done safely.
In response, one of the county’s top unions, the Fairfax Education Association, says there are 15,000 teachers, obviously there are many who just want to get back to their students, no matter the risk to themselves.
Union President Kimberly Adams goes on to say, "That is the selfless nature of an educator pre-COVID. It is simply not safe for educators, many who have concerns about themselves or their family at home."
Lewis also spoke with the headmaster of a private school that’s conducted in-person learning since the start of the school year.
Headmaster Randy Hollister says since Loudoun Country Day School reopened for in-person instruction, they have had two positive coronavirus cases, otherwise, staff and students have remained healthy in school by wearing masks, washing hands, and practicing strict social distancing guidelines.
FOX 5 has learned most of FCPS’a employees are not union members. Out of 28,000 school employees in Fairfax County, less than half – 10,700 – have unions guiding them.