Educators are calling on the state to shut down schools and go fully remote due to the rise in COVID cases across the state.
Some say they want the state and not their own local school districts to mandate safety protocols across all schools. And if they can’t do that, educators say they want to go remote.
On the Capitol Steps Thursday afternoon, educators rolled out a list of 14 thousand names—people who say schools should be remote. They demand the state implement 14 different protocols statewide for contact tracing, notice of positive cases, cleaning plans and phasing out hybrid learning.
"We just proved that hybrid doesn’t work and we know that we’re nowhere near full reopening," says Rose Reyes, a second grade teacher at Windham Center Elementary School. "But we’ve had experience with remote."
In response to the petition, the Connecticut Department of Education says the union leaders and board of education have met and that everyone agrees in-person learning is more effective to the short- and long-term well-being and academic success of students.
But many school representatives said otherwise Thursday.
"With surging infection rates and vaccines for the general public not available until after the new year, the state must shift to fulltime remote learning until at least mid-January to ensure that in-person learning is a safe strategy for our students and our teachers, not an experiment," says Jeff Leake, President of the Connecticut Education Association. "Not a gamble."
Governor Lamont says he would like to see schools stay open for in person learning at least until holiday vacations.
"We’ll see what happens from there. We don’t have any plans to close down stores or anything else at this point. I don’t think it’s necessary," says Lamont.
Educators delivered the petition to the state on Thursday.