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Teachers of the Year call for responsible COVID-19 policy

School education coronavirus COVID-19 LOGO eflon : Flickr : CC BY 2.0
eflon : Flickr : CC BY 2.0

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Nine former “Teachers of the Year” have penned an open letter to Idaho communities, school districts, and state leadership.  In it, they call for implementation and enforcement of COVID-19 protocols “that give us the best chance to keep students and staff safe.”

The teachers also encourage officials to follow the direction of health experts. 

“If that means going to hybrid models or full remote instruction when medical professionals recommend it, then we should listen to the experts and follow that course. If that means curtailing sports and extracurricular activities in the short term, then so be it.”

The educators said parents and community members also need to be part of the solution, without targeting blame at educators who prioritize their own health and that of their families.  They believe that response is entirely too prevalent in Idaho and represents a “completely misguided mindset.”

Instead, the teachers say decision makers need to concentrate on creating smaller class sizes, hiring additional personnel to provide substitutes and other school staff, and providing adequate, modern facilities. They say nurses, psychologists, and counselors are also overwhelmed. 

The letter continues, “We implore all of you to protect the health of students and staff while the pandemic still rages. In the long-term, we call on state and local leaders to create an action plan that is backed with resources to provide all schools with sufficient personnel, smaller class sizes, better resources and staff to address the mental and physical needs of our students, and up-to-date facilities.”

You can see the full text of the letter here.

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