Pattye Benson

Community Matters

T/E Teachers Union “Sick-Out” Threat Closes Conestoga High School

This past week, the TE School Board voted 9-0 in favor of returning the District to hybrid instruction starting Monday, December 14. Students who selected the hybrid option would start returning to school for in-person instruction – the regular hybrid schedule would resume for all students in grades K-12.

I watched the last school board meeting and Amy Alvarez, TEEA union president and Conestoga High School chemistry teacher delivered a strongly worded statement opposing the return to hybrid instruction. Neither the school board nor administration responded to Ms. Alvarez comments and … then with little discussion, the board voted unanimously to reopen the schools on Monday, December 14.

Having personally been on the receiving end of a phone call from Ms. Alvarez in the summer, I was not surprised by what came next. By mid-week, I had heard from several people about an email to teachers from the union leadership, calling for a District “sick out” starting Monday, December 14.

On Friday, December 11, the District sent out its T/E News which confirmed that return to hybrid instruction for Monday, December 14. Additionally, all K-12 sports, including practices and competitions, are canceled until January 4. And all in-person extracurricular activities are suspended (although the activities can still be held virtually).

However, with the threat of teachers calling in sick for the coming week, TESD administration abruptly changed course at 7 PM on Sunday night. Parents received notice from Dr. Gusick and the following is posted on the District website that Conestoga High School will not re-open tomorrow, Monday, December 14:

So … what is the takeaway here – the power of the union! The level of clout that the teachers union has over the District’s administration and school board is remarkable. The T/E school board voted unanimously days ago to reopen the schools, so what exactly changed in the last two days?

Without question, we are living in unprecedented times which makes communication and transparency from our elected officials all the more important. Residents and taxpayers deserve to know what is going on in our school district and who is really in charge.

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143 Comments

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  1. Hi Pattye,
    I’m curious why only the high school teachers chose to call out if it was Union wide decision? Did the other schools not have enough participants or will they plan to take turns shutting down the various schools on different days?

  2. If nurses and doctors can work why cannot teachers? How about thinking of kid’s futures, anxiety and reality?

    1. First of all, doctors have much better protection against covid than teachers. Second of all, they are working, just not in a normal way. You know, since it’s not a normal year. Third of all, do you think going to school in person would make us less stressed? We’re going to be more stressed because we’ll be worrying about getting covid. Fourth, what is this “reality” you speak of? The reality of there being. A deadly pandemic. Happening?

    2. You can’t compare Health care workers with teachers, health care workers have agreed to working with people who are ill. Teachers have not.

        1. I think you may have misinterpreted. The teachers do want to work, they just don’t want to work in the actual building considering the current health concerns. Some of our teachers have medical concerns or families with underlying health conditions- forcing them to work under the current hybrid model may endanger them and their loved ones. When I attended school in-person in November, I saw many students ignoring the safety protocols put in place. My teachers have been working hard to do their jobs well virtually and I believe it is wrong to force them to choose between their jobs and their well-being.

          1. Many people are required to go to work. Grocery workers, anyone in a health care facility, and substitute teachers by the way. You go or you give the job to someone who will go. And by the way I am a teacher so you don’t have to tell me what a school is like

    3. Doctors and nurse sign up to deal with deadly pandemics. Teachers sign up to teach. And to say they aren’t teaching in a virtual environment is beyond disrespectful. Teachers had to rework and change their entire curriculum to teach us students. They are still grading work, editing our essays, providing counseling for students in need, teaching lessons and so much more. As someone who has been a TESD student since kindergarten and is now a Conestoga student, by reading your comment I can tell you have no idea what goes on inside our schools. As a high school student I am in no way worried about my future. And if anything I am less anxious now than I am during a normal school year. These teachers are putting their lives at risk to teach your children. Show a little respect.

      1. I have been a TESD student as well, and am now a freshman at stoga. All I can say is that it has nothing to do with corona, the teachers just don’t want to work. Which is very unfair for us, because they are wasting more and more of this year for us. They are protected by the e tree archers union, and that is why they think they have the ability to not do their job and expect to get paid. I cannot think of any other job that states you can not show up to your job and still get paid. This past Friday, I was in school, and my history teacher didn’t show up. She didn’t leave any instructions for the class of what to do, and then we logged on Microsoft teams, and saw that the meeting was going on. Unbelievable. The TESD board and administration needs to stop being a bunch of puppets, and get this situation under control.

  3. If Doctors and Nurses can work, our teachers owe their students to show up to teach. These kids are beyond anxious, stressed and miss normalcy. Show up to work and do the right thing. No hiding behind the Union,are they going to teach or graduate our kid’s?

    1. as a student. it’s is much more stressful to know that our teachers and fellow students are in harms way than it is to learn virtually. we will be ok with virtual school for a while longer. we will not be ok with students and staff dying and getting sick

      1. Facts please, not emotions.

        How many students and teachers have died of Covid-19?

        I’ll help you, 99.9% patients recover, per CDC.

        1. Yes, but how many are left with long-term effects from COVID? How many will be left with irreparable lung damage? The CDC knows next to nothing about the long-term effects of COVID, so yes, while 99.9% of patients recover, that doesn’t mean that they have recovered to their full potential— it just means they aren’t dead.

        2. 1.62 million people have died worldwide, to answer your question. 1% can be pretty big when you multiply it by the entire population of the planet.

    2. As a student of Conestoga High School I have to disagree, all my teachers have the sole objective of giving us the best education possible but some teachers and rightfully so are worried about their personal and family health. I know this one teacher, which I won’t say names but that teacher is ranked #2 for best teachers for me personally, their spouse has cancer and the teacher has to take care of not only their spouse but also their kids. Imagine them getting COVID because of he/she was force to go to school. I would be heart broken. Doctors have signed up for this job, they acknowledge that they have to sacrifice the things they love to save others when the vowed to follow the Hippocratic oath, however teachers did not sign up for a hazard job. Also teaching virtually is just as affective as teaching physically and I believe the school should stay virtual indefinite til everyone is vaccinated. I support Alvarez, my AP Chemistry 1 teacher, entirely in their decision to boycott the school cause to be frank going hybrid when cases are at a ALL TIME HIGH is absolutely absurd.

      1. Do you seriously think that an Ophthamalogist planned on having to work during a pandemic. Let me answer it for you. No. Yet, they are forced to go to work, while teachers somehow are allowed to stay home. If it is not safe for a teacher to go to school, they can 1). Retire if they are old
        2.) find a different job that allows them to stay home

    3. Our teachers don’t owe us anything. Most students in our district are not bothered to learn, that’s on them not our teachers. If your kid isn’t bothered enough to want to learn and graduate, that’s on them. Our teacher’s responsibility is to assist us in learning and that cannot be accomplished unless they feel safe enough to do so. Doctors and nurses take a Hippocratic oath to serve and protect, even under hazardous conditions; our teachers did not. I love my teachers and I would love to see them in person and alive when this is all over.

    4. Hi Bridget Monahan.
      This comment is a logical fallacy as you drew a false equivalence between doctors/nurses and teachers. It is not in a teacher’s job description to work during pandemic. Our teachers do NOT owe us anything. I know from experience that teachers are putting in their best effort to give us the best learning experience they can given the circumstances and I am extremely grateful for that. It is incredibly selfish to put your teachers’ lives at risk just so you can feel a sense of “normalcy”. As a student with anxiety, virtual learning is harder for me, but I am considerate enough to realize that making that sacrifice for virtual school is 100% worth it knowing that my teachers and I will be at less risk of Covid.

    5. I full heartedly disagree. Teachers owe us education and saying they cannot teach correctly virtually is frankly insulting. They have the right to chose to stay home just as we do. They could have a pre existing condition or a immunocompromised family member. You can never know what they are going through.

      1. Just so you know, teachers are the ones getting paid to work in school. Students have the option because their parents are paying taxes for them to be in the district. Do you see the difference there?

  4. Did you read the communication that you allege the TTEA president sent to the membership or are you just speculating that the email called for a sick out? If you didn’t read it, and if it doesn’t call four a sick out, then this post is very unfair to our teachers. The person whose comment points out that only the high school is all virtual on Monday and Tuesday pretty much proves that the staffing issue was not a coordinated effort by TEEA. You could clear this up by posting the text from the alleged email.

    1. In July I posted an email which TEEA president Amy Alvarez sent to her union members – to be clear, the email that I received and posted on Community Matters had not contained the “confidentiality notice”. The TEEA email was posted on Community Matters less than an hour, when I receive a demand email from Ms. Alvarez to immediately removing it. Before I could respond to the email, Ms. Alvarez phoned me (I have never met the woman!) and with a raised voice, demanded that I remove her email or else. The intimidation was real and left me shaken.

      I immediately removed the copy of the TEEA email from Community Matters and sent the following email to Ms. Alvarez, “For the record, your email to me on the matter would have been sufficient. Your phone call was unnecessary and I found your tone with me abrasive and intimidating.” Based on that experience, I will NOT post any email from TEEA union leadership.

    1. A global pandemic is a sad state of affairs. I cannot think of a better way to put the students first than to unnecessarily risk their well-beings and those of their families just to return in person, when the classes still have to be taught the same either way. Teachers are also people, and have enough to deal with already without the risk of death looming at their workplace.

  5. How will the District staff the high school for a virtual day when they aren’t able to staff it for an in-person day? Will the high school kids get any instruction at all? Will the District deduct sick days for teachers who are “absent?” Kudos to the Union, their leadership seems to be intact. Wish that the same could be said for the superintendent and board.

    1. I can assure you that the student body is just as divided as the adults are. Many are completely fed up with this virtual nonsense and other would rather stay in.

    2. covid is the worst it’s ever been right now, i would rather stay home and not risk infecting teachers and parents

  6. Thank you for this piece. Our district should be ashamed of themselves. We all work for the union! Let them strike. Our school board and admin need out!

    1. Teachers have done a lot of good for our community and they are continuing to do that by keeping everyone safe. They are looking out for the staff and students health by protesting hybrid. Cases are continuing to rise and as a community it is important that we do what we can to keep the numbers down.

    2. Honestly, who are you to say that teachers are ruining things. What, their health and opinion is no different than the kids? I do not think you can comprehend the amount of work teachers put in to give your children an education.

    3. i’m a student and i agree with the teachers. they’re the ones putting themselves and their family at risk and therefore deserve a say in what happens. i don’t mind continuing online learning if it means i can keep teachers and students safe.

  7. Has the union issued any kind of public statement today? Last we heard from them, at the school board meeting Pattye spoke of above, they strongly opposed the return to hybrid. If this isn’t a “sick-out,” wouldn’t they issue some kind of clarifying statement so the community doesn’t get the wrong idea? For the teachers who did show up for the kids today, and I am sure there are many, thank you.

  8. The school board voted unanimously to have in person learning and the union leaders didn’t like the vote. Their response is to call in sick unless you cancel in person learning. My next door neighbor is a CHS teacher and yes, she received an email after the school board meeting proposing the sick-out for this week. What kind of message does this send to our kids? School board, the community deserves better from you!

    1. CHS Parent, I was thinking the same thing. How do we tell our kids to stay engaged and take this seriously when some of their teachers are not. ? I would understand if they were teaching virtually. I don’t get not showing up at all.

      1. As a student I can say if students are taking school seriously then it’s their fault, teachers are doing their absolute best to make sure that we learn everything we can.

    2. I’m friends with a CHS teacher and they told me they received no email about coordinating a sick-out. Not sure who’s lying here but someone is.

  9. So is the union simply representing the will of the teachers in this matter? Or is the union telling the teachers what to do? Did the teachers even vote on this?

    1. I’m assuming the teachers were willing to do this because I have had some teachers who are still going into school and others who are supporting the “sick out”. In my opinion the “sick out” is a beneficial way to show the school board that all opinions and sides should be heard and that the people working in their schools should not be ignored.

  10. Public education will NEVER return to a fully in person system. Nothing prevents teachers right now to say they are ready, wiling, and able to return to the classroom consistent with federal and state guidelines. But the teachers will not even say what it will take for them to return. Even after Biden said getting teachers back is a priority and, therefore, they should be given preference for a vaccine, the unions remained silent. Some of this is understandable. Teachers are not unlike office workers who rather like remote work and have no interest in going “back to the office.” But this notion that teachers can’t wait to get back to full time instruction is ridiculous. If that were true, they already would be back.

    1. This is an inane commentary on the current situation. Thank you for posting your name. After reading your Linkedin, I know to stay far, far away from anything you are ever involved with.

    2. As a student, I can tell you that stoga teachers are very eager to see our faces again. Teaching virtually is quite a struggle. Even so, they have to consider the health of their family first. This comment is insensitive and rude.

    3. Biden may have expressed that it is his priority to get teachers back to work, however he is not yet President… Your assertion that behavior should change now before the teachers actually get the vaccine is ridiculous at best.

  11. Its interesting that many of the teachers have their children in daycare programs locally, and expect those teachers to show up every day to support their families needs.

    1. Many teachers have already been forced to leave because they cannot make the switch to hybrid. Hope you feel better knowing that already underpaid teachers are losing their jobs because they don’t want a deadly virus!

    2. As a student, I’ve heard many peers in my classes say that one of their teachers did not want to come into school and they were fired because of it. teachers are severely underpaid and although we don’t always show it, we appreciate them 100%. Plus, on the National Labor Relations Board it reads, “Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act states in part, ‘Employees shall have the right. . . to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.’ Strikes are included among the concerted activities protected for employees by this section.” Please calm down and think.

    3. Wow I hope you know that there would be no teachers left, Bill. Let’s just fire all the teachers trying to stay healthy. Let’s fire the teachers who are doing a better job raising your kids than you. Let’s fire the teachers who have formed valuable relationships with the students and are able to connect them and keep them safe. Yeah, great idea, Bill.

      1. Julie…”Let’s just fire the teachers who are doing a better job raising your kids than you”…..you may have started sipping on the holiday spiked eggnog early or just confused…the parents in this district pay for the lights, salaries and extremely generous benefits to operate TE…Then, they make sure their kids are well equipped for their classes, pay for tudors and provide love and support…so the teachers have attentive students to perform well on tests to help teachers earn better salaries….you see, you must be confusing a TE parent with another district where the teachers actually do raise their students….the facts clearly show otherwise.

        PS Thank You to the teachers who have been dedicated, going to work, teaching our kids and partnering with parents to help students cope with a challenging time.

    4. as a stoga senior, this comment is very disrespectful. i’ve seen first hand how hard these teachers are trying to make the best out of this terrible situation. however, covid is only getting worse, and teachers did not sign up to risk their health. i don’t mind staying virtual if it means everyone is safe. teachers have every right to be upset and protest. if you aren’t the one in school right now, don’t speak on this

    1. I heard there was a Stoga English teacher who was fired because they refused to go into school, even though they have a weak immune system and were highly at risk for COVID. Not entirely sure if that’s correct but, I’ve been hearing that from many people.

  12. The board gave unprecedented power to the union in August when they agreed to a Memorandum or Understanding (MOU) eliminating the option of the board to furlough and/or demote teachers. I know of no other per district that felt the need to sign an MOU.

    Demotions (demoting teachers from full time to part time) are a powerful weapon that boards have to prevent union misbehavior (e.g. sickouts). In the board video we can hear Rev Dorsey warning against and voting against the MOU. We can also hear Ms Stone arguing, incorrectly, that the furlough/demotion clause is not important. TESD has an activist union president, an administration that avoids conflict along with several union leaning board members. That’s a bad combination. After signing the MOU, TESD has little power to combat any union labor action whether it be a sick-out or work to rule.

    1. Mr Knauss,
      I normally don’t respond to the blog. I let the citizens speak their minds, but you misrepresented me in this issue. Please listen to the tape again. I voted against the MOU. If your going to mention my name please make sure you are correct in representing my positions. -Scott C Dorsey

      1. Rev. Dorsey,
        Could you elaborate on why you feel I misrepresented your position?

        I said “we can hear Rev Dorsey …. voting against the MOU”.
        You said “I voted against the MOU”.

        I believe I represented your position correctly. If you’d like to communicate privately Pattye can give you my email address.

        1. Thanks Keith. And yes, Scott please let me know if you wish to contact Keith Knauss and (per his comment) I will be happy to give you his email address.

        2. Greetings Mr. Knauss,
          I stand humbly corrected. Thank you for the clarification. I just want to be transparent on my position. I also want to be clear I did not support going virtual this Monday and Tuesday at the High School. I support the Hybrid Model. This week I have accepted the request to observe one of our great teachers in person at the high school. I also believe all community groups who work with the district should also have the same ability as the Union to have their voice and letters be heard at our regular board meetings. These are my own opinions. Have a great and safe holiday to everyone. -Scott C. Dorsey.

  13. We Live in a World of Hoaxes

    Notice that we hear nothing about flu, only Covid. The tests can’t differentiate between them.

    Notice that all the years when news reported hospitals overwhelmed by flue deaths, there were no lockdowns or mask mandates.

    Notice that if the Covid pandemic were real, the reports from skeptical experts would not be banned from the Internet and presstitute media. It seems that hardly any independent experts believe in the Covid pandemic.

    Clearly, we are being setup for something.
    https://fromthetrenchesworldreport.com/hospitals-overwhelmed-by-flu-deaths-year-after-year-until-this-year/277473

    1. Mr. McCarey, Covid-19 is not a hoax. I am only allowing this comment to go through so as to avoid emails from you questioning why it was not posted. That said, no further comments questioning the reality of the pandemic will posted.

    2. sir this article doesn’t even have any text. it’s just google searches. if you’re going to provide a source, please choose one that explains its information and one that is credible. this is doing absolutely nothing for your case. there are a variety of studies that prove that Covid-19 is a real virus and maybe if you researched it, you’d find them.
      Here are some credible sources:
      https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/2019-novel-coronavirus-myth-versus-fact
      https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/2019-novel-coronavirus
      https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-vs-flu/art-20490339
      to name 3

  14. Would the vaccine for Covid for teachers create a middle ground and an opportunity for classroom teaching? It is not clear when teachers will be offered the vaccine, but they should be considered essential to get the education process back on track.

    The stats on Covid are so scary I don’t blame anyone about staying home until the vaccine is made available.

  15. The teachers of TESD totally disgust me. I swear every time I see a banner in someone’s lawn stating thank you TE teachers, I just want to rip it out. Honest to Pete, they believe they are gods. I have lost so much respect for our teaching community over the years and this really puts me over the edge. Teachers should have always been essential workers. But no, they like to hide behind their union. And as for Amy Alverez, she has been nothing more than a bully. She has been the very thing we try to teach our students against being. She needs to step down immediately. Bravo Amy for making ALL TESD teachers look bad because of your selfishness.

    1. Miss girl you need to calm down, our teachers work incredibly hard to uphold the ranking of our district. they are concerned for their families and their own lives. If virtual is a viable option, it is understandable that they would like to advocate for fully virtual in order to look out for the safety of staff and students. Please put the selfishness on the back burner and consider the risk they have already taken before you get so pressed.

    2. Wow I want to see you teach. I bet you couldn’t last a day. I want you to plan every day. I want to see you grade. I want to see you counsel these students because they come to you because they don’t feel comfortable in their home. The ignorance in these parents is laughable and it’s because of you all that we need teachers now more than ever.

    3. Yeah, no. Please don’t insult and belittle my teacher, it makes you seem immature and is the literal definition of a “bully.” It is not selfish to be wary of personal safety or for the safety of your family. It is not selfish to make the decision to stay safe. It is not selfish to be scared of a VERY real virus that has seen cases skyrocketing. Bravo to you, for being ignorant, disrespectful, and showing less control than the dozens of Conestoga students in this comment section responding with more dignity than the adults––does this not seem a bit messed up to anyone??!!

      1. For every comment that is posted from a CHS student there is at least one that is not posted due to its content, language, etc. This issue is important and I encourage open and honest debate, not name calling.

    4. All teachers should be doing what Ms. Alverez is doing. She cares enough about her own students to stand up for them and their safety. There is a global pandemic, whether you believe it or not, and both teachers and students alike shouldn’t have to risk dying from the plague just to go in person, and do the same exact thing they would be doing online. Ms. Alverez is constantly reminding students in her classes that she wants to see their faces and go back in person as quickly as possible, but she also has the common sense to realize when something isn’t worth dying for, like going in person instead of staying home. In general, I am less likely to trust the word of a random parent whose sick of being around their child than a science teacher whose dedicated her entire life to learning about the subjects that surround vaccines and helping children succeed. Instead of throwing blame because you’re upset about the state of the world, act like an adult and use your brain for once.

  16. I know a lot of students who stand with our teachers who don’t have a choice between teaching hybrid or virtually. Shouldn’t teachers have a say in how they teach? don’t they get a choice in maintaining their health? After going to school in the hybrid model, this sick out doesn’t surprise me.

  17. as a student, i’d rather have online instruction than have my teachers and their families sick and suffering from COVID. i stand with my teachers. we have another option, virtual is okay for as long as we need it. if my teachers are safe and comfortable i know that i will learn better.

  18. As a Conestoga sophomore, I find the general reactions I’ve seen so far to the “sick out” very disheartening. There have been many accusations by parents and community members calling the teachers who have decided to protest “selfish”, and claiming that their actions are detrimental to Stoga students’ education and mental well-being. The most frequent complaint I have seen is that by taking these absences, teachers are destroying our “sense of normalcy”.

    In my opinion as a hybrid student, these claims are nothing but a deflection and could not be further from the truth. Most Conestoga teachers have been working hard even before the 2020-21 school year started to create a classroom environment that promotes effective education while still helping us to feel supported. Our school’s current hybrid model makes this impossible. Safety precautions are not being followed by many students, and the elements of in-person learning that made me excited to return in the first place are completely removed. The fun classroom dynamics, social interaction between students and teachers- due to necessary but unfortunate COVID restrictions (that are in no way the teachers’ faults), these are no longer present. I did not feel safe or happy at in-person school, at times feeling more separated than I did when I was entirely virtual. I imagine some teachers may feel the same way.

    No one is more familiar with the atmosphere of in-person school than our teachers, who are required to show up. When it comes to whether they go hybrid or virtual, students get a choice. Teachers do not. Parents, if the teachers who have dedicated their lives to teaching your children and whose livelihoods are directly connected to teaching in-building think the current school environment is unsafe, why are you so insistent on sending your kids back?

    There is no normalcy now- not within our schools and not within our communities. To blame that on our teachers protesting in fear of their health and well-being is ridiculous. If you want to know why our district’s kids are stressed, anxious, and depressed at record levels, look towards our administration and school board, who have sacrificed the mental health of our student body in their pursuit of good press and an UNACHIEVABLE normalcy. Why is Conestoga one of the only high schools in our area that doesn’t have a fully asynchronous day that allows kids to catch up on work and meet with teachers? Why are our teachers being encouraged to assign work at the same volumes as before, despite the current circumstances? I and so many of my fellow students and their families are struggling with unprecedented financial and health (mental and physical) concerns as a result of this pandemic. We, without exception, feel wholly unsupported by our district as a whole. Many are quick to say that students’ drops in grades, anxiety and depression are a result of the pandemic alone, or indicative of them slacking off, but that is simply not true. Since September, I have felt myself change from an eager-to-achieve student to one who can barely bring themselves to log into class- or even get out of bed some days due to the immense pressure the district has placed on us, and on our teachers, to act like nothing is wrong, like everything is normal.

    TESD- with the current challenges our country is facing, you will not achieve the normalcy you are searching for. When this is over, there will be no praise as to how our district handled distanced learning. You do not take action when your students voice concerns- whether it be about workload and hybrid learning or issues that preceded the pandemic. This includes but is not limited to the concerns students of color have been voicing for years, as well as your repeated attempts to sweep “scandals” under the rug. How many community members are aware that the 2017 sexual assault case against the district and Dr. Meisinger has been approved for jury trial? How many are aware it happened at all? I was not aware of these events until I read the memorandum on this blog. Read it if you haven’t already and ask yourself why you trust our current administrators to make ANY decisions regarding your children and their well-beings.

    Stop looking for excuses to villify our teachers and start holding the administration accountable. Your student body is suffering and our voices have been silenced. Now your teachers are speaking up- please listen to them before the damage done to this community becomes irreparable.

    PS- I’ve seen lots of adults on this blog accuse well-spoken commenters claiming to be students of lying simply because they’re using big words. I assure you I am a student at Conestoga High school who is tired of watching our current administration get away with their inexcusable mistreatment of their students and staff.

    1. OK, I’m going to respond to you. It is obvious that you and your fellow classmates at CHS knew of the union’s planned protest. I have heard from parents whose children knew last week that there CHS teachers would not be working today. There should no longer be any question in the community about this planned “sick-out” — it appears that many of the students themselves knew about it. Also, I have learned from several CHS that not only was there no in-person teaching today, there was no virtual teaching either.

      It is fascinating to read the comments from you and the other students. I appreciate that the teachers have a right to protest — The union president made her statement at the board meeting and it fell on deaf ears. The school board went ahead and approved the return to hybrid model.

      As I said at the end of my post — the community needs to know what is going on with transparency and communication. The teachers union should not leave it to the CHS students to make their protest case. And school board, where are you — the silence is deafening.

      1. Thank you for your reply! There were definitely rumors circulating about the teachers’ protest last week, although I and I assume many others didn’t know that it would actually be happening this quickly, and with so many teachers participating. It’s also true that most of (if not all) the teachers who did not attend in-person teaching also did not hold virtual classes today.

        As students, we’re glad to have your blog as an outlet to share our opinions on what’s happening at our own school. Many of us have spoken at past school board meetings, the diversity board meetings, and even met with administration directly to voice complaints in the past, only for the adults to tell us how “well-spoken” we are and then disregard our statements completely.

        I agree that the teachers should be more communicative going forwards. From what I’ve seen, most told their classes that they would be out sick, that their family member was having a “surgery”, or failed to provide a reason at all for their absence. I know a lot of students agree with the teachers’ perspective, and even if that weren’t the case, I would like to see more transparency from them going forwards- as well as statements from the school board, like you said. I think that this issue has been simmering for a long time now and it will not go away by pretending it doesn’t exist!

        1. Thank you for this comment! I wholeheartedly support communication at ALL levels — whether its the school board, administration, teachers/teachers union and yes, the students! I may not fully understand how the District got to this situation but I think we’d all be better served by with some transparency by our school district leaders (and I mean school board, administration and teachers union).

          1. I found out about the sickout on Sunday night. The next day, only 1 of my teachers showed up on the TEAMS meeting

      2. I would like to clarify that all the students didn’t know about any planned sick out, or even that this is one. The only advance notice students were given were by teachers last night that they will not be in school today due to various different reasons. This is all still speculation and it would be irresponsible to act otherwise.

        What is 100% true is the support we have for our teachers. These people work day in and out, long before and after school is in session for us. We recognize that none of them signed up for this, many with even less information than students about changing plans, None of them asked to teach to 25 circles with initials when they are used to classrooms full of energetic students, and we are eternally grateful for all the accommodations and work they put in for us and our education.

      3. Pattye- just to correct one of your statements. All virtual classes were NOT canceled today at CHS. My child’s classes all had teachers. We don’t need more uninformed outrage added to this situation…::

        1. Thanks for your comment — good to know that some virtual CHS classes were held. Again, I go back to the importance of open and honest communication from school board, administration and teachers union so that we could all be accurately informed.

  19. Like pretty much all the students who commented, I stand with the teachers. These parents are not considering the health and safety of the teachers, us students, and our peers. If these parents feel that hybrid is better, then that’s their own opinion. I understand why u say that hybrid is better, with better learning skills, the pros of in-person teaching, etc. however, I highly suggest you think about the health of the people in our community and district as top priority. The best way to control this virus is to contain it, not spread it. It’s only after we control the spread, can we head back to school like the good ole days. Therefore the district making this decision is beyond phenomenal. Thank you to our board members for making this great decision to keep our community safe and healthy.

    1. Therefore the district making this decision is beyond phenomenal. Thank you to our board members for making this great decision to keep our community safe and healthy.

      You may want to get your facts straight — the school board VOTED UNANIMOUSLY to reopen the schools for virtual learning.

  20. The responses to this post have been incredibly upsetting. Why should the teachers have to go to hybrid school? If students can choose to stay virtual over concerns about covid, why can’t the teachers? The idea that the teachers are being lazy or incompetent is a gross misunderstanding. I had a teacher earlier in the year who had to leave because she was unable to make the switch to hybrid. Teachers are having to choose between their jobs and their families health. If the school board won’t listen to them, and this is their last resort, I fully support them in these efforts.

    1. I think CHS Student misunderstand the employee/employer relationship governed by the collective bargaining agreement CBA). If a teacher does not want to assume the extra risk of Covid exposure inherent with hybrid education he/she has to option of resigning, retiring or taking an unpaid leave of absence. If the union feels the hybrid structure violates the terms of the CBA the leadership can call a strike. A sick-out (FALSELY claiming a sickness) is not an option and the board members should explore their legal options.

      1. As always, thank you Keith for helping us (me) understand how collective bargaining works. It’s interesting to know that for teachers to protest by calling out sick is not covered by their teachers agreement contract. Hmmm — now what?

        1. I fully encourage and support students voicing opinions. But the lack of respect and the idea that they get to just choose how school runs is concerning. The non union supporting teachers have been horrified by the behavior of the students in virtual learning. If the students sign on at all, they’re often not at the computer, and completely tune out the teacher. They also think it’s ok to tell obscenities during the lesson. The reason the teachers have concerns is because of the students complete disregard for safety measures. They actually followed through on a skip day this year to attend large parties. And on my street during school hours there are stoga students smoking and drinking in plain view. It’s no wonder they’re enjoying this virtual learning. They jump on various social media threads with no thoughtful discussion but arrogant attitudes that haven’t been earned.

          1. This saddens me to read this comment. I was surprised (and supportive) of CHS students leaving comments today on Community Matters and many were in support of their teachers. However, sadly over a dozen student comments were not posted — due to obscenities and/or disrespect.

      2. Thank you for your insight! I don’t know about the employer/employee bargain you mentioned. I may look into it.

  21. Extremely telling and eye opening to see the amount of people disrespecting our teachers under this post. Many of these commenters are privileged enough to work from home for more than twice the salaries of our teachers- while also keeping their families safe at home. If you are not in the same predicament as our teachers, it is irreverent to berate them for their concern for their safety and/or initiative to incite change when one is sitting at such a place of privilege. Disheartening as a stigma student to see the levels of inconsideration shown towards the teachers we love. Moreover, it is unfortunate to see our community to fall from grace in such a way.

  22. We have a 9th grader who is 100% virtual. I am grateful that she was about to make that choice. Because of the Board’s vote last week, instead of getting virtual instruction today, she got no instruction today, because her teachers were “absent.” I don’t know if this is what it took for the teachers to be heard, but it is such a disappointment. I feel badly for all of them. There is a Finance Committee meeting tonight, maybe the Board or Administration will be able to speak to some of this during public comment.

    https://www.tesd.net/cms/lib/PA01001259/Centricity/Domain/56/121420%20DRAFT%20Finance%20Committee%20Agenda.pdf

  23. I think it’s pretty dope tbh, it teaches us students to stand up for ourselves and that even against something as “powerful” as the school board, we still have a voice.
    Also, it is not like this so-called “strike” is harming us, we basically had to teach ourselves through our teachers lessons last year and we are being taught just not in person.

  24. FYI, it is not just CHS teachers who were out today. My elementary school child had a substitute today as her teacher called in sick.

    1. They might actually have been sick. We have several teachers that have tested positive for COVID but are not being shown on the TESD Dashboard. The same with elementary school students. If you test positive but haven’t been into the schools they aren’t listing them on the Dashboard. Imagine if we hadn’t gone back to virtual for the last few weeks and students and teachers were now having to quarantine or worse.

  25. Safety precautions are not being followed by many students.

    After reading this, I felt the need to say something I had heard not too long ago. Since the end of last year and the beginning of this school year; safety precautions have to a large part been ignored or just not followed. I learned that members of the present staff hang out in numbers at the front desk. All within 6 feet, masks partially on. Even wearing dirty masks. I know when we registered for parking permits, a staff member and administrator directed and allowed us to bunch together in the lobby. Someone did remind everyone to keep 6 ft apart, but no one took notice. I have been made aware of staff and admin not following the posted directions and saying to students, you didn’t see me. If staff and admin officials don’t follow the directions what does that say to our kids ? And what does it say about how we keep everyone as safe as possible. Students bunch together in the hallways and hang out in their cars together during breaks and lunch. And when told to separate they don’t pay attention and do as they want.
    I have even heard of the poor judgement of some staff such as working out, instead of working. Meeting up in a corner, for a length of time, well within the 6 ft distance. Is this how our tax dollars get spent? Is this the message we send to our kids. Do as I say not as I do ? No wonder the teachers did a sick out. Why endanger themselves when students and staff refuse to follow the guidelines and take the necessary precautions themselves.

  26. I am disappointed and saddened by the vitriol, anger and lack of empathy by many parents posting here, but so proud of the CHS students speaking out and on behalf of their teachers. This is an impossible situation, and the school should have made the decision to go virtual until after the holidays. Teachers are dealing with putting family members at risk over Christmas and Hanukkah as well as dealing with their own children from districts who did the right thing and closed. Instead of vilify our teachers, we should ensure their voices are heard – and that those voices matter. Thank you to all the students setting the parents straight on priorities. TE parents can learn a thing or two from you. At least our future is in good hands. One silver lining. Students: don’t ever stop to fighting for what you believe in. Your opinion matters! Your parents aren’t always right! Teachers: there are more that stand with you then against you in this community. Unfortunately, some on the other side are loud. Do not mistake volume for wisdom (or posts here as representative of realty). Hang in there. We have your back. You did what you needed to to be heard. You needed a reaction. You got one! Good.

    1. I wouldn’t be so sure all with “student” in their posting name are actual students. Could it be teachers posing as students lauding the underpaid, awesome, unappreciated, courageous teachers? It sure could be.

      Some of us will not be pawns in this battle between the union and the District.

  27. I’ve studied COVID-19 for the better part of this year in order to help companies get therapeutics and vaccines to trial. This virus is spread through HVAC systems in closed spaces; circulation in small spaces without fresh air flow mimicking face-to-face contact for a prolonged period. I don’t think our schools have hospital-grade ventilation, so for that reason, I applaud the teachers for doing this. I couldn’t imagine being forced to go to work in-person unless I was performing a service essential to life that is absolutely impossible to do virtually.

    Having just read an article on another local news blog in which local students, including Conestoga kids, describe the isolated nightmare that is a return to a classroom in hybrid, how can anyone think this is better for our kids’ mental health than a virtual setting? I agree with the student here that said if students have a choice of virtual over hybrid, so then should teachers. Actually, to me, it makes absolutely NO sense that the people MOST at-risk for this virus have NO say in how much exposure they wish to give themselves. Our teachers and administrators could very well fall into an at-risk population and not even know it – some of the comorbidities can be totally asymptomatic, especially in younger adults.

    I’m sure everyone can’t wait to get back to school in a true sense of normalcy – kids, teachers, admins, etc. Masks, Plexiglas, social distancing, and odd schedules are NOT normalcy for students; they can feel it. I’ve read kids say it is lonely and depressing! I am sure that seeing their parents irate at their teachers, each other, the school board, and the union is not going to help their mental health at all. We should be using this energy to advocate for ASAP vaccines for our teachers, admins, and at-risk kids older than 16, or, barring that, to help those in need.

    We are lucky that TESD has the resources for well-functioning technology to be able to do virtual instruction in this district. When so many people in the nation are suffering, waiting in miles-long lines for food and facing eviction, the question shouldn’t be what can others do for me, but what can I do for others? This is an opportunity to teach our kids to be helpers when the world is once-in-a-lifetime tough. The funny thing is, from what I can see in the comments here, the students already know this, thinking of the other – thinking of their teachers.

    Pattye, thank you for your patience with me attempting this comment – longtime fan, first time commenter, not so tech savvy! If this one doesn’t work out, no worries, I see lots of people have commented similar things.

  28. The school board really drove this thing off a cliff, and now everybody’s upset (understandably, all around), some kids are getting asynchronous instruction unnecessarily, there’s no resolution on the best way to run the schools, and nobody even gets to be informed about what the heck is happening or what the plan is. Really, really unimpressive leadership.

    1. Citizen. 100% agree. This is certainly a failure of the Board, and I think the Administration who advises them and liaises with the Union. I see lots of people (especially students) defending the teachers, and that makes sense as they are in a shared impossible situation. Perhaps the people defending the teachers could reflect a little on the Board who voted 9-0 a week ago to return to a hybrid model, the Superintendent who advised them, and the predicament we find ourselves in now.

  29. Sorry for the facts that don’t fit the narrative of many teachers, some CHS students, and some community members, but the numbers do not support their hysteria. The District has been doing hybrid school since early October, and there have been very very few Covid cases – the District removed the October and November numbers from their Covid dashboard but from memory about 5 total cases at Stoga, between students and staff combined. There is no available evidence confirming these infections happened in school. Since the school reopened in December, 0 student cases and 0 staff cases.

    1. And by the way, almost 7000 students and over 1000 staff. Since October 12, a total of 16 cases spread across the 8 schools in TESD.

      1. Hi Stoga22,
        I am confused by your comment since the high school and middle schools haven’t been open in the month of December. Are you speaking only of the cases in elementary schools? If so, you’re disregarding over half of the population across all district buildings.
        I think it’s also important to note that these case numbers in the district are self-reported positive tests and don’t account for untested students and staff or asymptomatic cases that never created a cause for concern.

  30. I must say, thereof that there are numerous amount of cases where we are in a disturbant environment of politics. We should end this gruesome debate and emphasize that we have our own rights, our own freedom, our own confrontation. If the school board may become a similarity to the government, then we should have the freedom to make our own choice – unless federal law is enacted- to live in a safer environment where those of our families shall rise and comfort themselves vividly according to the articles in amendment one of the Constitution. As a student from Conestoga, I’ve noticed some motivation that has reoccurred from Conestoga HS teachers, quite frankly all teachers from the TE district who have shown a decency to be knowledgeable, kind, and careful with their requirements and for their students’ needs. Other students, including myself, would like to go to a school where teachers aren’t in an emotional adaptation that causes them to prevail in an aggressive manner or provoke them to feel aggravated. I have many teachers in my 12 years with this district who even made me passionate in a few difficult subjects. These teachers have brought me to who I shall and will be for my next two years with the district to reach my goal and academia to be ready for my four years – maybe even eight – in college. If the teachers shall rebel or form a faction, let them do so. I will not stand for violence nor any overwhelmed state of stress.

  31. I must say, thereof that there are numerous amount of cases where we are in a disturbant environment of politics. We should end this gruesome debate and emphasize that we have our own rights, our own freedom, our own confrontation. If the school board may become a similarity to the government, then we should have the freedom to make our own choice – unless federal law is enacted- to live in a safer environment where those of our families shall rise and comfort themselves vividly according to the articles in amendment one of the Constitution. As a student from Conestoga, I’ve noticed some motivation that has reoccurred from Conestoga HS teachers, quite frankly all teachers from the TE district who have shown a decency to be knowledgeable, kind, and careful with their requirements and for their students’ needs. Other students, including myself, would like to go to a school where teachers aren’t in an emotional adaptation that causes them to prevail in an aggressive manner or provoke them to feel aggravated. I have many teachers in my 12 years with this district who even made me passionate in a few difficult subjects. These teachers have brought me to who I shall and will be for my next two years with the district to reach my goal and academia to be ready for my four years – maybe even eight – in college. If the teachers shall rebel or form a faction, let them do so. I will not stand for violence nor any overwhelmed state of stress.

  32. This petition is in support of Ms. Alvarez’s petition to boycott the school with their sick days because the Tredyffrin Easttown School District requires all teachers to go physically to school while students have the option to go hybrid or virtual. The primary goal is to force the school board to allow the option for both physical and virtual teaching for teachers.
    As a student at Conestoga High School, I am very concerned about my teachers’ wellbeing. People often compare the teachers with doctors and how they are required to go to work in hazardous environments, but teachers never signed up for hazardous work, and unlike doctors, they can work virtually. I am in no way trying to slandering the school district in a bad light but after seeing the toll teachers are forced to deal with, I need to make this message clear to parents and students. A teacher was fired because she was unable to teach physically due to a health condition, she proposed if she could teach all virtual but was forced to retire and work in a different school. My fellow classmate said “She was almost in tears during my English class telling us she couldn’t teach us anymore.” This is unacceptable considering the high standards the school has put for itself. I am afraid that this will become a domino effect, causing more teachers to quit due to safety concerns.

    1. Well, this is interesting — Ms. Alvarez has a “petition to boycott the school with sick days”?? You seem to have the information, please elaborate.

      This petition is in support of Ms. Alvarez’s petition to boycott the school with their sick days because the Tredyffrin Easttown School District requires all teachers to go physically to school while students have the option to go hybrid or virtual. The primary goal is to force the school board to allow the option for both physical and virtual teaching for teachers.

  33. Just to reiterate about my “junior student” statement up above ^ – I must say, thereof that there are numerous amount of cases where we are in a disturbant environment of politics. We should end this gruesome debate and emphasize that we have our own rights, our own freedom, our own confrontation. If the school board may become a similarity to the government, then we should have the freedom to make our own choice – unless federal law is enacted- to live in a safer environment where those of our families shall rise and comfort themselves vividly according to the articles in amendment one of the Constitution. As a student from Conestoga, I’ve noticed some motivation that has reoccurred from Conestoga HS teachers, quite frankly all teachers from the TE district who have shown a decency to be knowledgeable, kind, and careful with their requirements and for their students’ needs. Other students, including myself, would like to go to a school where teachers aren’t in an emotional adaptation that causes them to prevail in an aggressive manner or provoke them to feel aggravated. I have many teachers in my 12 years with this district who even made me passionate in a few difficult subjects. These teachers have brought me to who I shall and will be for my next two years with the district to reach my goal and academia to be ready for my four years – maybe even eight – in college. If the teachers shall rebel or form a faction, let them do so. I will not stand for violence nor any overwhelmed state of stress.

  34. Helsinki Syndrome…alive &.well.
    From the numerous “student” postings, it only reinforces
    the Helsinki Syndrome….having students in class all day, forced to listen to some teachers complaining of their circumstances….why wouldn’t the students be empathetic to the teachers?

    If only the students listen to their parents who have to go to work, support their family and pay their taxes….Taxes, you know the thing that pays for the entire school district, including the teacher’s salaries and benefits.

    PS Thanks again to those teachers who have shown up and continue to allow our kids to go to school for a dose of normalcy—we all know these are not normal times—-but your efforts help!

  35. Hi,

    I’m not sure what your connection to the district is and I won’t make assumptions, but as a student currently attending Conestoga High School I think it is incredibly irresponsible of you to chalk up students sympathizing with the teachers to Helsinki Syndrome. I won’t even go into the fact that your comparison implies that us students are mental “captives” of the teachers and that they are turning us against the authorities (in this case, I assume the school board). I assure you that just because we are kids, that does not mean we are incapable of independent thought. At least in my experience, my teachers have been nothing but professional and I have never been “forced to listen to (them) complaining of their circumstances”. They have, however, been incredibly receptive and willing to listen to students’ concerns about stress, workload, and personal struggles, which is more than I can say for the school board and admin at this moment in time.

    You speak of hybrid learning as a “dose of normalcy”, but I assure you that there is nothing normal about our in-person learning. For myself, many of my peers, and I assume many of the teachers as well, it feels even lonelier and more disconnected than virtual learning- not to mention there is the added stress of our health due to being in the building where many people are not following safety precautions. As you do, I am thankful for the teachers who returned to hybrid learning to support their students, but if they do not feel comfortable doing that, I will defend their decision 100%.

  36. Let’s follow the science.

    How much transmission occurs in a school setting?

    I find it oddly disturbing that so many students are posting comments. They have never been involved in Pattye’s blog before – not even when other things directly affected them. Has someone pointed them here? I find it interesting that commenter’s name included “Spoke” – is this a campaign by a few who write Spoke?

    I also find it disturbing that students knew of the “sick out” last week.

    The teachers should not be including students in their work dispute with the administration. They should be teaching, not proselytizing.

    1. I too find it strange regarding comments allegedly posted by students. In some cases, I know that it is students — in other cases, I cannot confirm.

    2. Why is it disturbing if students post comments? We’re the ones who go to school, are we not? Why is it odd if we speak up about how we feel?

      Personally, I think its disturbing that so many parents are speaking over their children and assuming how they feel about their teachers and virtual learning. As high school students, we have just as much to say about this matter as you do.

    3. A regular reader,

      I don’t think the Spoke is a engaging in a “campaign”. I do believe that many of the students sharing comments were directed here by their friends, who were in turn directed by other friends. As we know from social media like Twitter, engagement has a snowball effect. The more students that engaged with Pattye’s blog, the more interest the post had for other students.

      We did not know of the “sick out” last week. Our teachers simply notified us that they would not be in school due to various personal reasons. Some gave no explanation, some said they had doctors appointments etc. So far, there has been no statement by the schools or any teachers given about the absences. They aren’t trying to convert us; there is no collective agreement among students in support of teachers, as you can see from the comments from students that are disagreeing with other students.

    4. Don’t forget that before the schools closed in November we had almost 150 students/staff quarantining due to exposure. The district didn’t track which of those cases turned out to be positive since school was not in session. It may seem like we’ve had a minimal amount of positive cases- but those are only ones the district was notified of.

    5. Hi, I’m currently a sophomore at Conestoga. I can assure you firstly that there was no formal campaign among students to post comments on Pattye’s blog. I believe I was one of the first students to comment, and because I was very surprised and disheartened reading some of the comments disrespecting our teachers (and thought that other students should know about the sick out), I shared the blog post with some of my friends. I imagine it is very likely that they shared the post as well and that other students familiar with Pattye’s blog may have shared it themselves. Word spreads pretty quickly over Instagram and iMessage. As for why the student body are so passionate about this particular subject, I imagine it’s because many of the parents and community members in this comment section and on Facebook have openly been insulting the teachers who have been doing their best to give us a good learning experience this school year.

      Secondly, the Spoke has published a statement with regards to the commenter who associated themselves with their paper. They state that their beliefs are not represented by said commenter and that they are working to gather factual information to provide the public with an unbiased report of these events- at this time, they cannot confirm that the anonymous commenter is a member of the Spoke at all.

      Thirdly, to my knowledge, no teacher has actively tried to include students in their protest. There was no “proselytizing”. There were a few rumors over the weekend that a lot of teachers might be absent/sick on Monday, but I do not believe any students were aware of the reason, nor do I think any teachers shared their plans with students.

  37. Though it’s been very disheartening to read about the actions of many students during the virtual environment, I feel confident that many students are still being responsible and doing the work their teachers assign them. Having also been in the hybrid environment, I don’t think that it improved my learning. Many of the students still stay virtual every day in the current system, so most of the learning still remains on the computer. Also, due to social distancing requirements, teachers and students cannot have the same kind of interactions. I will be staying virtual in the next cycle, where I can get the same kind of education but within the safety of my home.

    I also feel that many of the comments about how the teachers would rather teach virtually because they are lazy and incompetent disregard the difficulty that teaching virtually brings. Many students do not turn on their cameras, even after being prompted to do so by the teacher. Even worse, most students choose not to unmute to answer questions in class. It’s also much more difficult to speak to teachers one on one, so they have no way of knowing if their students have absorbed information before the test day. Many teachers have mentioned in class that they “cannot wait to see our faces”, so if they are still choosing to go on strike to stay virtual, I’m sure their concerns must be founded in something other than laziness.

    In regards to comments that COVID-19 is a hoax, or that there haven’t been numbers to back up the concerns expressed by teachers and students, I find those more concerning. COVID-19 is not a hoax, it is very real. And even if there have not been many reported cases within TESD, there have still been some. This doesn’t even account for presymptomatic or asymptomatic students or students who feel unwell but haven’t gotten tested. Even with these relatively low numbers, we are still seeing a huge spike nationwide, with cases being higher than they’ve ever been. There have been over 3,600 in Chester County in the past 14 days alone. I completely understand the hesitancy to resume in person learning during the holiday season, when many people are traveling.

    Finally, I’d like to make it clear that I am, in fact, a student. I have seen a lot of comments saying that the “students” are actually teachers in disguise, and while I understand those doubts, I find it strange that just because the students are using formal language and complex lexicon, people are assuming they are adults.

  38. There is a Facebook group that discusses the pros and cons of in-person education. Reopen Radnor Safely Now! You will find multiple respectful, fact filled posts supporting both points of view.

  39. Why does it have to be an “all or nothing” situation? If a teacher has a verifiable need to teach virtually, allow them to do that. Must be handled professionally though…

    Kids can be in the room listening to one class on my a zoom call and the rest of classes in person. Not every teacher wants to be virtual either.

    Take it on a case by case basis. That is how other schools are handling it.

  40. One perspective that I’ve not read above is the timing in the vote to return to hybrid teaching. The calendar posted on the T/E web site has the winter break beginning on Dec 24. How much would actually be gained or accomplished in having at most 10 days of renewed virtual learning before the break, with then renewed classes planned for Jan 4 2021 this year? In a risk vs reward assessment, how does this make any sense at all? Further, with several vaccines to almost certainly be available within the next few months to provide hundreds of millions of doses possible before the start of the next school year, shouldn’t the community err on the side of caution for EVERYONE’S health over the next few months? Providing and/or receiving an education is certainly not going going to go well if either the educators, students or parents become ill. I continue to be unimpressed by the decision making of the Board, and the union’s single minded approach to consider teacher’s needs (salary, benefits etc) above all else. And relative to a vast number of school districts across the nation, T/E teachers fare extremely well. In my opinion, ultimately the Board’s decisions should not feed into this already established disaster, nor should the teacher’s union. Protection of health throughout the community should be paramount. Look ahead. Times will improve.

  41. I’m glad to see students here although surprised at the suddenness of their involvement.

    Students, while you’re reading and speaking up for yourselves, please also use your voice to your friends who we all see on social media and in and around town without masks, playing games without masks, not social distancing and posing for pictures all grouped together. That’s not helping the situation and is extending the problem. If you care so much for your teachers you will help keep them safe by stopping this.

    If your teachers told you they were going to be out on Monday for various reasons, that’s pretty much the definition of a planned action since that has not happened to such a large scale this year if at all.

    You can and do speak for yourselves and I won’t dismiss you. In the same light, you should not dismiss other parents who may also know a thing or two.

    Stay well and model the behavior that will being a quicker news to this situation.

  42. All this talk about teachers needing to put students first is just ridiculous.

    Scenario:

    When an airplane loses cabin pressure, safety protocols drop oxygen masks. Passengers are instructed to place the mask on themselves first, their children second. You cannot help others if you don’t help yourself first.

    Teachers must be able to take care of themselves first, then their families second, job third. That’s how every job works. That’s how life works. If you reverse that order, the. The whole thing breaks down in a very short matter of time.

    For the board to ignore the teachers union president was jaw dropping. It’s a clear indication of how little regard the board has for its teachers.

    1. Outspoken,

      All this talk about keeping teachers first place and in complete control in this District is ridiculous. Your comment is ridiculous.

      It all starts and stops with the taxpayer, not the teachers, not the Administration, not the School Board……the Taxpayer. Without the taxpayer paying your exorbitant salaries, there would be no school district. What is ridiculous is how the taxpayer elected school board has handed over all of their (our) power to the teachers and the Administration. We have the teachers union President calling private citizens and screaming and yelling and intimidated them, demanding they follow her direction which is to squelch freedom of speech.

      Teachers are behaving like little children. They throw a tantrum and the School Board gives in to them. What message does that send to them and to the citizens in this community? Taxpayers are being led around by the leash of the teachers and the Administration. They kick us and snarl at us if we dare question their actions. Ridiculous!

      Taxpayers, we have the power, stop this insanity. Take back this District.

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