#OnlyWhenItsSafe

Washington D.C. Teachers and Community Members Share Their Concerns About Plans to Re-Open Schools to In-Person Learning

 

WASHINGTON—Deeply concerned about the health and safety of teachers, students and the community if schools reopen without clear and enforceable health protocols, Washington D.C. teachers and community members gathered in front of the John A. Wilson Building on Tuesday morning. Attendees called on Mayor Muriel Bowser and District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee to re-open only when it is safe. 

“Our city’s teachers want to return to the classroom,” WTU President Elizabeth Davis said. “However, they are concerned for their personal health and that of their families, students and communities. This disease has a disproportionate impact on African American families and we must ensure that we have strong and transparent health protocols in place if we’re to consider reopening schools. Today, I wouldn’t feel comfortable returning to a classroom.”

“In 2011, I had a heart attack in my classroom. My students saw me wheeled out of my room on a stretcher,” shared Christian Herr, who has been teaching for 11 years. “My cardiologist has made it very clear to me that the risk of death from COVID is greater for people with hearts like mine. Even if I were to catch and survive it, it's more likely that my heart would never be the same. More likely that I would lose years with my wife or that my students would again see me rolled out of my room on a stretcher, although this time, I might not come back.“

Teachers unrolled a 100-foot banner displaying more than 150 stories like Christian’s, and read each story aloud.

The full press release is available here.

Some of their concerns follow:

"My 3 year old and 6 year old will be at home because their school is virtual. My partner works full-time. We don't have any family in the area. I want to return, but who will safely care for my children?" 

 

“I miss my students, parents, coworkers and classroom a lot. I know that students learn much better in person. My own children attend school in a neighboring county. It is comforting to me knowing that my children will be safe and healthy at home doing virtual learning. I want the same for my students.”

 

"I would attend school four days per week, while my child would attend one to two days per week. My spouse is working full-time. We do not feel comfortable leaving our child at home all day." 

 

"I will be putting myself at risk, and my family who I visit multiple times a week to assist in their care. I don’t know who will care for my children who will be learning virtually.”

 

"I have a special needs child. I don’t know what to do if my child’s school is fully virtual. I want to teach but #OnlyWhenItsSafe."    

 

"I have a young child at home, cared for by my elderly mom. I dread potentially exposing either of them to COVID because I contracted the virus at work." 

 

“As a special subjects teacher I will see around 300-600 students per week. My spouse is elderly and has health problems. I fear putting him at risk.” 

 

“We worry about sending our school-aged child to school some days, then to another childcare setting on the other days. We’d be exposing our child - and the rest of the family - to two groups of children.”

 

“I’m worried about childcare for my child on virtual days. My partner travels for work so his ability to stay home if I’m at school will be hit or miss. I would need to follow my child’s schedule.”

 

“Our entire household is high risk. I take care of my elderly mother. My partner has conditions that make him high risk as well. I have a condition which puts me at increased risk.” 

 

“My family has decided we feel more comfortable with our child using the virtual only option, but as a DCPS educator I would still be required to return to the building. If our goal is to minimize COVID exposure, we can’t. And we also can’t plan for childcare because I don’t know what I’ll need.” 

 

“My partner had cancer and is recovering at home. I am the only one employed. I already used my FMLA for the birth of a child. My child doesn’t have childcare options at the daycare. I’ve been a highly effective educator in DC for nearly a decade, but I’m currently feeling as though I need to choose between my family and my job.” 

 

“I fear for the safety of my infant child.” 

“My partner is in law school. If we do hybrid he will have to change his schedule to nighttime classes so he can care for our kids while I’m gone. If we don’t find out soon, he will lose out on being able to switch over. If he is not able to switch I will not have childcare.” 

 

“As a special education teacher working across multiple grades, I am worried about exposure to multiple groups of children daily. I live with an infant and a high-risk adult. And I am concerned about the lack of safe child care options for my infant. I no longer feel daycare is a safe option.” 

 

“What if our childcare closes down? My spouse cannot take any time off work.”

 

“I will have to leave my children alone at home if I am required to teach in-person.”

 

“I have an infant and a school aged child. I’m putting them at risk. And I’m not comfortable sending my children to a daycare facility.” 

 

“I will have to figure out how to support my two elementary aged kids and my high schooler, all with different days at school, while working. Also, one of my children is sickly which would prevent them from attending at all.”

 

“I can’t teach in-person because my county is going virtual. In addition, I teach autistic kids and most of my students have health issues! I miss them but I am super nervous about them getting sick at school.”

 

“My toddler has asthma and I have a newborn so I am really worried about bringing something home to them.” 

 

“I have an immune-compromising disease and a heart condition, putting me at greater risk. In addition, I have elementary school-aged children who might have full-time virtual learning themselves. I have no child care options for them. It seems impossible for me to return to in-person teaching.” 

“I am a single mother. I have a child in elementary school in school in a neighboring county. I have no idea what I’m going to do for child care! All the places are full and I don’t make enough money to pay for child care. Also, having my child in daycare will expose them to COVID-19.”

 

“I am at wit’s end. I don’t want us to get sick and/or die. My back to school supply shouldn’t be a Will.” 

 

“In person teaching will expose me and my family to the virus. And it’s not feasible to leave my child at home 3 days/week.”

 

“My oldest child is in a charter school that has already announced they will be virtual until the end of November. This creates a major issue if I have to return to work full time in person. We can pull our baby out of daycare, but that doesn’t make up for the cost of a full time nanny. We simply can’t afford this.”

“I live over an hour from my school. I have respiratory issues. I depend on public transportation.”

 

“My spouse and I teach in DCPS. Our children attend DCPS. I've been praying for a 100% virtual option. Safety is my family's first priority!”

 

“I live with my elderly parents and I do not want to put them at risk. It would be hard to go back into the classroom and come home everyday knowing that I might be transmitting a deadly virus to my parents .”

 

“I am the primary breadwinner of my family, and if something should happen to me, my family will be out of home and health.”

 

“My spouse has numerous family members with immune system issues. Her family history concerns us. I teach every student as a specials teacher. We are discussing setting up a living situation in the basement to avoid the potential spread of Covid in our home.”

“If we return and I get sick, I don’t know what the consequences for my unborn child will be.”

 

“My child’s charter school is virtual until at least November. My spouse cannot work from home. Who will care for our child?”

 

“I’m a part time teacher with other jobs. I worry that my other employers will not be comfortable with me working because of my high exposure at school. This would significantly decrease my income.”

 

“I am in the high-risk age group and my spouse and child are immuno-compromised. I cannot afford to get sick OR bring home the coronavirus. I am the only person in my household who works.”

 

“I am considered high risk and my children’s school is doing full time virtual learning. For my family’s sake I will have to take leave or find another job. I want to teach, but only when it’s safe.”

 

“I’m a single parent with a student in a different school district that will be doing 100% virtual learning. How will I return to in-person work? Who will watch my child?”

 

“I live with my older parents, one of whom is high risk. They are able to care for my toddler now, but not if I am back in school. There is no way to protect them and be in a school building.“

 

“I will be putting my family at risk and there is no guarantee I will be able to work due to my own child’s virtual schooling.”

 

“If I catch COVID 19 at work and die, I’m leaving my child motherless. If I catch COVID 19 at work and pass it to my husband and he dies, I’m leaving my child fatherless.”

 

“I worry about going back into a building four days a week while pregnant.”

 

“I have two children in DCPS. We do not have any other family in the area so I will not have anyone here to watch my children on the days they cannot go to school and I have to work.”

 

“The only two family members that I could ask to move in and help me with childcare during the school year are both older and have pre-existing health conditions that would put them at risk for contracting Covid-19. I am very worried about what the upcoming school year will do to my family.”

 

“I am anxious all the time, and fearful.” 

 

“My four children are in different grades attending different schools. I’m not comfortable sending them to school and possibly exposing them to the virus. “

 

“I live with my older parent. I would be worried about their health.”

“I am pregnant. I also worry about passing the virus on to my spouse and two young children.”

 

“My son is in college, but his school is virtual so he will be taking online college courses this year and staying at home. He is immune compromised and takes more than more than a dozen medications every day to protect his health. “

 

“My family cannot survive on medical leave. My child will have to leave college, I will lose my apartment.”

 

“I will be putting my life and my child’s life at risk every time I am forced to teach in person. I love my job and my students but I should not have to risk my life to do it.”

 

“I am diabetic, and need to exercise additional caution or face a possible prolonged hospital stay if infected. “

 

“The childcare supports I have are all high risk individuals (my daycare provider is also high risk). I also recently had a baby so I do not have any paid leave for Covid-19. What am I supposed to do?”

 

“I won't have anyone to be with my child. He will be starting kindergarten in a neighboring county. I am a single mother and I don’t have someone else I can depend on.”

 

“I have three young children, pre-existing health conditions, and my childcare is over 65. If forced to return to the building, I will be exposing my weakened immune system to a virus it cannot fight. I am also African American and we have been dying from the virus at a higher rate.”

 

“I worry about getting sick either at work, or from my child who may be at daycare. What is going to happen when teachers get sick?”

 

“I have 2 babies at home under the age of 3. I am very uncomfortable with the idea of exposing my children by working in person.”

 

 “We have remained inside in an attempt to prevent any of us, including my new baby, from contracting COVID. Teaching in person would destroy that effort and put us all at risk. My baby doesn’t have a strong enough immune system to fight this battle. I cannot put him at risk.”

 

“Until there is a safe and reliable vaccine, we should not enter the school building.”

 

“Due to my own health issues I can’t return to teaching in person until it is safe.”

 

“If we are told to return to in-person teaching I will have to choose between receiving 2/3 of my salary on leave or putting my health at risk. I’m willing to work. I want to work! But just not in a building that had air quality concerns before Covid.”

 

“I’m high risk. This is making a choice between my job and death.” 

 

“My mother suffered from the virus in the spring. She now lives with me. I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I exposed her to the virus again. She described it feeling as if she was dying every night as she slept.”

 

“My partner is a cancer survivor with a compromised immune system. I would not feel comfortable having in-person contact with students at all.”

 

“I am very close with my parents. I fear I will have to keep my distance. This will be really hard for me.”

 

“I have three children in a neighboring county.  Their school announced virtual learning until January. My children cannot remain at home alone four days per week.”

“I have a compromised immune and so does my spouse. He is going through chemotherapy and will be for several months.”

 

“I am fearful that I may expose my family members with compromised immune systems to the virus.”

 

“We have children ranging in age from 4 to 10. Our extended family will not be able to support us with childcare if I’m teaching in person because they have serious pre-existing medical conditions.”

 

“What about the health and safety of my loved ones if I were to get sick from Covid?”

 

“My spouse is both a prostate and a colon cancer survivor. He also has diabetes and high blood pressure. I am deeply concerned about how my return could adversely affect him.”

 

“I will not have any options for my school age children due to their school having a full time virtual model in the fall.”

 

“Please don't force me to teach in person. I have medical conditions that make me very high risk, and my mother is elderly, asthmatic, wheelchair-bound, and needs someone to feed and bathe her, and transfer her from her bed to her wheelchair.” 

 

“I cannot take a chance on contracting this disease. I would die alone in the hospital. My young adult daughter would be alone in the world. My mother wouldn’t have anyone to care for her.”

 

“My child will have nowhere to go on the days that they are supposed to be learning from home.  My spouse and I will be both working during the day out of the house. The only other childcare option we have is our child’s grandmother whom we can’t put at risk.”

 

“My two children attend a DC charter school which has already announced 100% distance learning until there is a vaccine or cure.  At minimum I would need to be home 3 days a week. My husband could possibly take off some days too but he doesn't have paid leave. My parents have also offered to help watch my kids but they are in the high risk category for both age and health. On top of this I have chronic asthma and am very scared about what complications getting covid-19 could cause for me.”

 

“As a special education teacher working across multiple grades, I am extremely worried about exposure to multiple groups of children daily especially because I live with an infant and a high-risk adult.”

 

“I worry about the risk of bringing home the virus to my 3, 4 and 9 year old children.”

 

“I will not have child care for my two school aged children because I live in a neighboring county, and I would be putting my newborn son at risk.”

 

“We will have no one to watch our children.”

“I have a pre-existing medical condition that would make me vulnerable to covid-19.”

 

“I am a single mom. If I must work in person my son will be left at home all day. I have no extended family and all my friends are teachers too.”

 

“I can work, and I want to work, but I just cannot physically come into the building. I have underlying health issues as do a few of my four children. I also care for an elderly person. This will just be devastating for me and my family.”

 

“This puts myself and my mom, who I live with, in jeopardy. We both have preexisting conditions.”

 

“If my child's charter school is fully virtual and I have to return to work in person, I will have to leave my child at home alone.”

 

“I have a spouse with three existing conditions that make them high risk. I cannot risk exposing him, or my two children. Also, my children are too old for daycare and too young to stay at home alone, but there is no one to watch them on the days I’m in school and they’re not. I am willing to teach every day virtually, and I want to, but teaching in-person will be impossible.”

 

“I am a single parent with no family in the DMV. My child will be enrolled in full time virtual learning until second semester. She cannot be left home alone four days per week while I am teaching face to face. I have to be a parent before I am a teacher.”

 

“I would be teaching two groups of 10 students every week in an enclosed space with poor ventilation, and working with a revolving door of other teachers and support staff. The increased risk of becoming ill or bringing illness to my son with asthma is terrifying.”

 

“My son is starting kindergarten in a neighboring county. The county declared last week that it will start the school year 100% virtual. Who will care for my 5-year-old if I have to return to work in person?”

 

“I have nobody to stay at home with my children and I don’t want to expose them to the virus in a daycare. I’m concerned for myself too. My kids need me. I’m all they have.”

 

“I have no one to watch my children when they are not at school.”

“I could be exposed to the virus one day during the week, bring it home to my family, and then head back to school as a carrier spreading it to more people the following day.”

 

“I am a single mother. I don’t have any idea how I’m going to make this work. My child is going to preschool this year. How am I going to keep her safe? And how am I going to keep my mother, who is elderly, safe? She is my child care provider.”

 

“I have severe asthma. I take four medications daily to keep my asthma somewhat under control. My doctor doesn't want me going back to in-person instruction during the pandemic. Additionally, my dad is battling Stage 4 cancer and is going through intense treatment, so he cannot be around anyone that has even possibly been exposed to COVID.” 

 

“My biggest concern is the risk of contracting COVID-19 while riding the metro with my school age children. Who is monitoring the wearing of masks on trains? Who is monitoring how many people are getting on the train?  How do you implement social distancing on the metro with staff and children around the city going back to school?  The metro is my only option for getting to my school and I don't feel safe riding it.”

“If my local school district is fully online or conducts hybrid learning I will need to care for my 3 young children, which will make it very challenging to teach In-person next school year.”

 

“I want to return to work, but I would like to do that when it is safe. Also, now my child’s school is virtual. He is too young to stay home alone, and I can't afford the cost of a nanny.”

“I have an infant and a school aged child who will need to be cared for if I am at work. I’m not comfortable sending my children to a daycare facility. I don’t know what to do.” 

 

“I am a caregiver to a parent who has underlying health conditions and is convalescent... I am experiencing fear, anxiety, and loss.” 

 

“My wife is pregnant, and my child has a heart condition. If we go back in person I will have to take parental leave and hope things become safer in 3 months.”

 

“The possibility of becoming infected and spreading it to the members of my family is paramount. MY LIFE MATTERS!! #onlywhenitssafe”


“It will mean I can't see or take care of my parents, who are elderly and high risk.”

“I am fearful that if I do return to in person learning, I will contract the disease because I have an underlying health condition, and I will be responsible for infecting my family.  I am a teacher, who rarely takes sick leave. I go to my job every day and I give 110% to my students. I work 7 days a week to ensure that my students receive a quality education. I am perfectly willing to work virtually 5 days a week, all day long, which is what I did during the spring. But I shouldn’t have to risk my life for my job!!”

 

“As a teacher with an infant at home, I am fearful that teaching in person will mean I expose my family unnecessarily.”

 

“I’m immuno-compromised so I fear for my life if I have to return to work in-person. This past school year I didn’t have heat in my classroom, the school had HVAC issues, and the windows didn’t open either.”

 

“I have no childcare options for my school aged children. As a single parent I feel pushed up against a wall. I feel forced to choose between my kids and the only means I have to provide for them.”

 

“I will not have child care for my kindergartener on his virtual days and I will be at extra risk of infection due to a preexisting condition.”

 

“I am a single parent. My children’s school is starting 100% virtual. If I have to work in-person, I don’t know if I will be able to find childcare or if I can afford it. To stay in my job and go to work in person, I will have to ask my parents who live out of state to take my kids until there is a vaccine. My elderly mother’s health is poor and she is connected to an oxygen tank at all times. My elderly father has good physical health but is showing signs of memory loss. How will they be able to take care of my kids?”

 

“I am a high risk individual.”

 

“I am immuno-compromised and I don’t want to take medical leave when I can successfully do my job virtually. And I really want to do my job!”

 

“We have no family in the area. My oldest child will be all virtual and she will need to be logged on for at least 6 hours a day. Her daycare is not willing to log children on. My youngest child attended an in-home daycare that is not open back to full capacity, and is run by a person who is high-risk. I called several other child care facilities but there are no openings. I worry about childcare and having to leave the job I love.”

 

“I have a disorder triggered by health stress which could make covid fatal. I watched neighbors and family members succumb to this disease and I do not want my young daughter to lose her mother.”

 

“I’m a single mom who works in DCPS and my daughter attends a DCPS school. I am a homeowner and resident of DC. My family moved out of the area as it got expensive and so I am alone and scared.”

 

“I watched three neighbors die in their homes. I watched my Aunt die. Now my sister is so weak from covid she can’t even go to the bathroom. I’m afraid that our schools could be super-spreaders. Especially given the amount of teachers and students who will be accessing public transportation twice daily.”

 

“My daughter will be in a full time virtual model with PG county. I am a single mother and my only option for help is my mother, who is elderly and immunocompromised. I am terrified to return to in-person because I simply cannot get sick. If I do there will be no one to take care of my daughter. I also can’t take the chance of exposing my mother.”

 

“I have an infant and a kindergartener. My partner works nights and usually sleeps much of the day. He is also immunocompromised. Right now we are left wondering how we will care for our children, and also limit our exposure to Covid 19 to keep everyone, especially my husband safe. Even if we weren’t worried about exposure, we’d still be struggling, because my older child would only be attending school 2 days a week and my baby’s daycare is still closed with no date set for reopening. If I am able to stay home and continue distance learning, we’ll be able to make it work. I feel very uncomfortable about the risks to my family and have no idea how to go about securing childcare if I have to participate in face to face learning.”

 

“I am most concerned about transmitting the disease to my high risk husband and children. I am the primary carer and if I get sick my family will not be supported.”

 

“Too much risk to bring into a home with a one year old.”

 

“My husband and son are at increased risk of disease. We are choosing distance learning for our children but I’m worried about going into a school building myself which will still be too much risk.”

 

“I am a moderate risk for COVID 19 and rely on public transportation. I am unsure of whether I can or should withstand exposure not only at my school but also on my way to/from school.”




“I will not be able to see my dad until there is a vaccination. Also my son will not be able to spend time with him. He’s 2 years old so they will miss this precious time together.”

 

“I worry about physically attending school to teach medically fragile students. And my own child will have to attend daycare, putting her, me, and my students at greater risk.”

“I have two children - the youngest is an infant and she is automatically immunocompromised, and the oldest has health issues. Currently, we have no child care other than myself and sometimes my husband when he is not working. We don’t have family in the area and at this time have no care options.”

 

“I am terrified of going to work and being exposed to so many people and bringing covid home to my family. During a regular year I’m the harbinger of Illness in the house and I am the one who brings home steel, flu, Norovirus, colds, etc. - it’s not just the number of students I will see on Monday, but also on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, AND their families, AND whoever they come in contact with, AND my colleagues. It’s too many people!”

 

“I can possibly infect my family, including my three sons, coming in twice a week. Also my sons will be home doing full virtual learning so I need to be home with them.”

“I will either have to leave my school aged children at home to implement distance learning by themselves or take them to a grandmother who’s immune system is compromised due to cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.”

 

“I’m being asked to choose between my family’s safety and keeping my job.”

“I am pregnant with a toddler. I cannot risk double exposure if he is in daycare and I am at school. I would like to be allowed to teach my students virtually so that I can keep myself and my family safe and my students safe.”

 

“I have a child with a chronic illness.”

“I worry about the risk of me bringing the virus home to my children, husband, and elderly mother. I also have no one to supervise my children during the day.”

 

“I have two young children who will be doing virtual learning at home through another county, and an elderly parent that doesn’t live with me but still relies on my support. I have an autoimmune disease and asthma. I am terrified that I’ll get sick and that something will happen to me. How can I live like this? Why should I have to choose between my job and my family and my life? Who will take care of my kids and help them with school?”

 

“I have two young children who require supervision and support with learning, full time. I cannot perform my job and support their needs at the same time, and I do not have family that lives in the area, nor have I been able to find a trusted caregiver who is practicing safe measures.”

 

“I will not have someone to watch my children every day I am in the building. I also don’t want to expose my family to the possibility of contracting Covid-19. I’m very scared about the possible choice I will have to make if we are not totally virtual.”

 

“I'm immunocompromised with an overactive immune system that attacks my central nervous system when I endure high stress, like what is happening with being forced to choose between my livelihood and my life. I also have asthma and can’t keep a mask on longer than 20-30 mins. I also don't have child care for my child whose district is doing distance learning. Nobody will be there to take care of my child if I die or get sick.”

 

“I take immuno-suppresants and am unsure of the long term effects of that combined with COVID.”

 

“I am worried about the threat of bringing the virus home to my family.”

 

“My kids will be online all the time and I will have to work some days. I am a single mother.”

 

“I am immunocompromised and so is my child. He was already hospitalized. I am terrified that could happen again, but with a different ending. In addition, my parents watch my son while I work and will now be unable to do so because they are older and have other risk factors, leaving us without childcare. My husband will be unable to work because someone will have to stay home with our son. My job provides health care so we need it. We will have to try to make ends meet on one income.”

 

“My mother-in-law will have to travel two hours a day or live with me for part of the week to watch my child. I will be exposing her, with multiple comorbidities. My ex-husband will have to change his work schedule and risk termination to accommodate my return to the classroom so as not to overburden his mother and her health.”

 

“As a single mother this will be extremely difficult. My child is young and will require supervision and it will be impossible to teach in person and help my child at the same time.”

 

“With the extra exposure, my elderly mother will not be able to pick up my son from daycare and keep him in our home until I get home. This would be too risky for her to be involved in our lives, which is the whole reason she moved here last year.”


“I have an autoimmune disease. I take numerous drugs to try and stay healthy and teach. I love my students and wish I could be with them every day, but I know that even now, I spend many weekends trying to feel better so I can go to work the following week. I also have a child who has Type 1.5 Diabetes. Her university will be closed and she will be at home with me, doing online learning. It is not OK that I risk my family ’s health to do what I love. My students would be devastated to know they had given me COVID-19. Doubt me? You should see how they feel when they give me a cold! I teach 5th graders. They understand my disease. We can not open like this. #OnlyWhenItsSafe”

 

“In 2011, I had a heart attack in my classroom. My students saw me wheeled out of my room on a stretcher. My cardiologist has made it very clear to me that the risk of death from COVID is greater for people with hearts like mine. Even if I were to catch and survive it, it's more likely that my heart would never be the same. More likely that I would lose years with my wife. More likely that my students would again see me rolled out of my room on a stretcher, although this time, I might not come back. I love teaching. It brings me more joy and pride than anything I've ever done. That being said, nothing is more important to me than my wife and my time with her. I will not risk that.”


“We would go from a two income family to a one income family. It would be pretty hard on us as my oldest is a child with special needs who requires PT, OT, speech, ABA, and, in pre-pandemic times, hippotherapy.”


“My 70+ year old mother and my daughter with severe asthma live in my house. I am also immune- compromised. My biggest challenge is how to keep my family and myself safe while working with children with special needs.”


“Spending 20k that we wouldn’t be spending otherwise. Our children are school-aged but their school is 100% virtual, so if I can’t be home, someone needs to be there for them. I feel so lucky (and guilty) to even be able to have the option to do this that I feel like I shouldn’t complain, but then I realize that it’s crazy to have to refinance your house to keep your job…”

 

“Just having found out that I am pregnant, I am concerned about my own health and baby's well-being. Additionally, if I use Family and Medical Leave now, then I will not have it available for bonding time with my future child and recovery time after delivery.”

 

“We all agree that being in the classroom is the best for everyone involved, and we long to be back in the classroom with our students. However, this is simply not safe as the number of Covid cases is rising nationwide and here in DC. As a special education teacher, I deal with bodily fluids daily- in the bathroom changing students, helping students learn to blow their noses, wash their hands, etc.Teaching is relational and involves proximity, especially in the field of self-contained special education.”

 

“We are being asked to go into an unknown environment that plays with our lives.”

 

“I am worried for the safety of my husband, who has underlying health conditions as well as my newborn baby, if I were to start teaching in-person. I will be in contact with around 100 students each day, and it would only take one of those students to be infected and contagious to perhaps, fatally impact my family.”

 

“I have no one to care for my child.”

 

“If I have to be in the school building to teach but my daughter is at home doing virtual learning that day then who will take care of her?”

 

“All of my school aged kids are doing full virtual education. One of my kids is a newborn. There are no childcare options for her at this point. Another child has special needs and cannot be left with anyone due to his explosive and violent behaviors, which have escalated during quarantine. Then there are two middle schoolers who will be home all day everyday. How can I leave them at home alone?”


“We have a newborn, my wife's health is delicate, and for this reason me and my two sons reduce contact with other people to protect them and prevent contagion.”

 

“My children attend public elementary school in Montgomery County, which has already declared the safest option is virtual learning for the next few months. We all agree that children get so much more than academics at school and that it is an integral part of their lives; yet it should not come at the price of teachers’ health or life.”

 

“As a teacher, I can tell you I miss my students, parents, coworkers and classroom a lot. As a teacher, I can tell you that I know that students learn much better in person. Nevertheless, after being told for months and months that the safest way to mitigate fatal COVID numbers was to stay at home, how am I supposed to go to school?”

 

“I will be left in a very difficult situation as my 9 year old son attends a public school in Montgomery County. I am a single mother and have no other alternative for child care for my son. My parents are almost 70 years of age and are in no condition whatsoever to be able to care for my son.”

 

“Currently, I have a chronic illness that compromises my immune system, the doctors are investigating the type of pre-cancer I could have in my body right now, plus I have family members who depend on me.”

 

“I am asthmatic and suffer from a clotting disorder. I have too much prothrombin, the protein that causes clotting, in my blood. There are many unknowns with Covid, including how it impacts someone with Thrombophilia. I am in fear that going to work will put my health at risk.”

 

“I'm an educator, a wife, an only child, a caregiver and a mother of two boys. With my work I sustain my family. My husband is not working currently. He lost his job due to COVID 19. I take care of my elderly mom who lives with me.” 

 

“I am currently pregnant. I cannot risk the health of my unborn child.”


“I do not want to be among the dead.”


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