UEA President Talks About Teachers’ Concerns Over Returning To School
Jul 23, 2020, 8:39 PM | Updated: Jul 30, 2020, 3:15 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Several school districts across the state have sent surveys to parents asking their opinions on the return to school amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Teachers in the Canyons School District said their concerns have been ignored, and that the survey conducted by the district did not reflect how they really feel.
Their own survey found that more than half of the teachers were uncomfortable about a return to the classroom as Utah positive cases continue to surge.
Utah Education Association President Heidi Matthews joined KSL Today Thursday morning to talk about those concerns.
Matthews said the primary concern was for safety, and a sense that not enough has been done to assure the safety and well-being of students.
“Right now most of the discussion centers around what the districts’ plans are,” she said. “In many cases, what I’m hearing (from teachers) is that these plans fall short.”
She said it was important for educators to be included in the decision making, because they’re the ones implementing measures for social distancing, face masks and remote learning.
“Let me be clear that no one wants to get back into our classrooms and face-to-face more than our teachers, our educators. No one,” said Matthews. “We just need to be sure that we do this right… and that we reopen schools with safety at the heart of everything that we do.”