Teachers Go On Strike Forcing School District To Cancel Reopening

It's that time of year again and all across the country, children have been going back to school.

For some, that's back to normal public school, for some it's public school but at home. Still for others, many have pulled their children out of the public school system completely, and I don't blame them.

As of Friday, 109 out of the 600 teachers and other school employees in the Phoenix suburb had called in sick, defying the school board’s insistence that they physically return to work, even though the area is a COVID-19 hotspot. All classes, including virtual learning, were cancelled until further notice due to “insufficient staffing levels,” which were the result of a “high volume of staff absences, citing health and safety concerns.”

Officials in the adjacent Queen Creek school district, also located in the San Tan Valley, provocatively ordered teachers to come into school buildings on Monday to conduct online classes despite teachers’ insistence that they could conduct virtual teaching just as easily and far more safely from home. In response, dozens of Queen Creek teachers resigned.

“We received an overwhelming response from staff indicating that they do not feel safe returning to classrooms with students. In response, we have received a high volume of staff absences for Monday citing health and safety concerns. Due to these insufficient staffing levels, schools will not be able to re-open on Monday as planned,” J.O. Combs Unified School District superintendent Gregory A. Wyman said in a statement.

“At this time, we do not know the duration of these staff absences, and cannot yet confirm when in-person instruction may resume,” Wyman wrote. “Please know that we are acutely aware of how polarizing this issue is, and how challenging these ongoing developments are for our entire community. We will continue to work closely with our employees and our families to develop solutions that provide a safe and healthy return to school.”

“The district said that all classes, including virtual learning, would be canceled,” Arizona Central reported.

“Of the 600 employees in the district, approximately 250 are teachers, a district spokeswoman said Friday. Of those, 109 certified staff had put in for absences on Monday. Since the district voted to reopen in person, two certified employees and two classified employees have resigned. The district has had 23 employees resign for various reasons since July 1.”

Personally, I love seeing this take place because I would love for the government and the public education system to give everyone more reason to withdraw their kids from public school.

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