TSTA demands enforcement of strict safety requirements before school buildings are reopened

If Gov. Greg Abbott’s job required him to enter school buildings, perhaps he wouldn’t have been so quick to allow school campuses to be reopened on June 1 for in-person summer school. We don’t know how many school districts plan to do that, but we are demanding that the state and local school districts agree to enforce a detailed list of safety requirements for school campuses before reopening buildings to students and school employees for the summer or the fall semester.

TSTA has developed a detailed list of safety requirements that we believe the state should require of school districts before districts are allowed to reopen their campuses. These requirements follow the guidelines originally recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, not the politically watered-down version released by the White House. Our requirements also reflect concerns expressed by our members who, unlike the governor, will be required to reenter school buildings when campuses are reopened.

We are demanding, among other things, screening of people entering school buildings, adequate supplies of protective gear for everyone in every school work place, procedures to enforce social distancing and sanitation practices and strong enforcement of all the requirements.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to rage across Texas, the health and safety of students, educators and our communities need to remain our first priority,” TSTA President Noel Candelaria said in a statement to the news media.

“By rushing to allow school buildings to reopen on June 1, less than two weeks from now, Gov. Abbott is creating an illusion that the worst of this health crisis is behind us. It is not. People are still getting sick and dying in large numbers, and reopening school buildings too soon will increase the peril.”

Here are TSTA’s Standards for Safe Students, Schools and Communities.

Teacher group says June 1 too soon for in-person classes