An open letter to State Governors & Legislatures (SC only)

Virtual until safe

54 so far! Let’s get to 100 signers!

The press conference today proves that the South Carolina legislation is willingly ignoring the safe return-to-school guidelines established by the AccelerateED task force. These guidelines were developed based on science and data, but were completely disregarded for a safe return to schools. I understand that parents want their children back in schools this fall. I agree that it is imperative for schools to resume in person sessions so that parents can return to work and their student(s) can reap the social, intellectual, and emotional benefits of a learning environment. I am also aware that returning to school can protect the welfare of some of our state's most vulnerable students during this critical time. I know I speak for most teachers in saying that our hearts ache for this return. However, teachers should resume face to face instruction when they can safely. Currently, 44 counties in our state are qualifying as “high spread." Resuming face to face instruction is putting many lives at risk. Not only the lives of students and teachers, but also the lives of our healthcare workers, and the general public. Per the AccelerateED guidelines, and the data from DHEC, it is currently not safe to return as we are seeing an extremely high rate of infection. With no mandates or efforts to curb the exponential spread, I cannot fathom how things will change before the potential September start date. Thus, virtual schooling should be the only option until the viral spread is under control. Teachers should not have to choose whether to go work or die. They should not reconcile with the decision to put themselves and their loved ones at risk. Students should not have to suffer the unnecessary trauma created by the deaths of classmates and school staff. Your failure to govern the citizens of SC is unforgivable, and the priorities of this current legislation has placed the economy over human lives. A life lost during this upcoming school year is one you could have prevented. Your inaction is killing the very people you are supposed to protect.

First sent on July 17, 2020 by SC for Ed

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